Chest of Drawers

Mom has bead project trays and was going to buy one of those pretty boxes you can get at any of the craft stores. The problem was getting one big enough. Personally, I don’t like lifting trays, boxes, etc., up out of boxes to get to the bottom tray/box. So I told her I’d make her something to put them in.

First thing I did was measure the trays; trouble is I didn’t write the measurements down and tried to do it from memory the first time. Luckily I just made one drawer to start with and took it on my next visit to see if the trays fit. It wasn’t long enough for her longest tray. I had gone through the measurements and calculations multiple times and calculated how much foamcore I’d need and layed out the pieces on each board…all that went out the window when the initial tray didn’t work.

So, I recalculated and re-laid it out. Ever notice how you get different results each time you try to lay out something like this? I really don’t know how many times I did the calculations, but I should’ve done them one more time. Instead, I tried to just fix the differences in the sides and shelf supports after I changed the size of the drawers. It turned out okay, but lesson learned…. calculate it one more time if any adjustments are made. Starting over with the drawers, I cut all but the front piece out of white foamcore and covered each piece with pretty tissue paper. The front of the drawers was cut out of black foamcore. Then I glued the sides, back and front to the bottom with hot glue. I had to work quickly and used my heat gun as necessary to re-melt the hot glue and seat/re-seat the pieces together.

I used black foamcore on the shelves and the shelf supports. There is also a bottom piece inside the bottom slot and top piece sitting on the top shelf supports. This allows the drawer to sit up a little bit from the bottom of the unit and a little more at the top to accommodate the front veneer of the drawer. The top, sides and edge of the bottom were covered with Tim Holtz’ Melange tissue wrap (covered before adhering the pieces to the chest). The tissue paper is 12″ wide and 15′ long. To cover the foamcore, I had to piece the tissue paper together for the width. Before I glue it on with spray adhesive, I colored the butterflies with Sharpie markers. To kind of tidy it up, I used washi tape; some of it is Tim Holtz’ washi tape (whichever one has the butterflies), which was also colored with Sharpie markers. I don’t remember who makes the black and white stripes and red with yellow dot tape.

chest of drawers front

Once it was all together, I measured the front of the chest, reduced it just a bit, divided the height by 3 and cut out pieces of chipboard for each drawer and painted them black. Then I cut 3 pieces that were about 1/4″ all the way around from white mat board for the front veneer piece of each drawer. These mat board pieces were covered with the tissue paper and butterflies colored with the Sharpies. The black chipboard and covered mat board pieces were sandwiched and glued to the front of each drawer. Each drawer has knobs (again, Tim Holtz) and some other decoration. I tried not to cover up the butterflies too much. There are no 3D decorations on the sides or top.

chest of drawers side

Even with the measuring faux pas, it worked well and holds the trays. The top and bottom pieces measure 15″ x 20″ and stands about 12″ tall. Each drawer is 18-3/8″ x 13-1/2″ x  3-1/4″ (outside measurement). The inside of the drawers are each approximately 18″ x 13-1/2″ x 3″.

chest of drawers open


Birthday Cards

Here are a couple of birthday cards I made for my mom and sister. The background is a French script stamp by Cornish Heritage Farms (Stamper’s Ink). I stamped it with black ink on drawing paper and printed butterfly images from Dover’s samplers. Mom wants one with a dragonfly, so I need to find a decent dragonfly image.

butterfly birthday card 2 smbutterfly birthday card 1 sm

Altered Spoon–Tree of Life

This is a teaspoon that has the handle cut off and bent to be used as a pendant bail.

tree of life pendant front

The first one I worked with was a larger tablespoon. I was going to drill holes in it for the wiring. However…it’s made of stainless steel, as is the teaspoon I used. Drill bits were burning up left and right. The oak wood scrap block I use to drill on has little woodburned dots all over it where the spoon rested. Even after switching to a cobalt drill bit and using 3-in-1 lubricating oil, the hole was almost through but couldn’t quite get it all the way. I was able to drill exactly 1 hole all the way thru so I went another direction.

The handle was heated with a heat gun and then bent with pliers. Then, I used a Dremel with a cutting wheel to remove the spoon handle, leaving enough to bend inward to create a loop. It had to be heated several times to get the bend all the way to the spoon back–stainless steel…

I used twisted gun metal bronze (basically a pretty brown) wire as the back grid. I wanted twice as many loops for the top of the tree as for the roots, so I bent the wire and created the “root” loop. Then made a loop in the other ends to fold over the top of the spoon. To create a more decorative and organized spoon back, I alternated one pair of wires with the other for a crisscross pattern. One wire that wasn’t doubled, so I could have an odd number of loops.

tree of life back

The tree itself is 28 ga. wire (same color), 3 strands for each of the bottom holes. Once the tree trunk and main branches were defined by twisting, I added aquamarine chip beads, looping the twisted wire through the top loops. Those twigs were twisted together and tucked behind the gemstone leaves.

The finished pendant is strung onto a leather cord. At some point, I will try drilling the holes again, but this time the Dremel goes into its drill press where I can use steady consistent pressure.

Steampunk Barbie Pt. 6

Step 7:  The Stand

I picked up a square piece of wood at Hobby Lobby and painted it black. Using the gear stencil by The Crafters Workshop ( , I spray painted the gears on the  board and sealed it. A hole is drilled just off-center of the board. Then, I made an adjustable saddle stand for her following the instructions from Reflections by Ice: .

steampunk stand


Steampunk Barbie Pt. 5

Step 6:  The Flying Machine

The flying machine consists of 4 perfume sample bottles glued around a brass fitting. Inside the perfume bottles is a coil of brass wire filled with Judikin’s Diamond Glaze. A small gear from Spare Parts is adhered to the top each bottle with the wire from the coil sticking out. A faux watch knob is glued to the bottom of each bottle. These are all wrapped together, after superglueing, with copper tape. Another brass fitting with a small gear is attached to the bottom. It creates a stop for the propeller unit.


For the propeller unit, I cut a piece of brass tubing measured to about 1-1/2″ above the doll’s head and a smaller piece of brass tubing to fit inside that piece of tubing. I hammered out 6 metal petals from Spare parts, cut the hole-end down a little and used a brass screw to attach them to the smaller tubing. I didn’t think about what would happen, so the first time I tried to screw on the petals, the brass tube was actually inside the copper tube. The brass tube got stuck inside and I had to beat it out. But it finally came together, so to speak.

The wires sticking out of the bottles were wrapped around the copper tubing to complete the connection.


To attach the unit to the doll, I had to come up with a harness. Using 1 oz. black leather, I cut a rectangle to just cover the bottles to the edge and glued it down. Again, I didn’t have a small buckle so I made one and used some 1/16″ eyelets for the belt holes. To keep it more stable, I added a shoulder harness to the flying machine.


Steampunk Shoe

Here is the before picture:

before shoe

I sanded the shoe with a little fine grit sandpaper and wiped it down. Then, I coated it with alcohol ink–Ranger’s caramel, I believe. The ink made the color a rich brown.  Once that was dry, I stenciled gears with Ranger’s copper alcohol ink. To keep it from running if I decided to add other applications of alcohol ink or Sharpie pens, it was sprayed with a gloss luster polyurethane. It was a bit too shiny for my taste, so I re-coated it with mushroom alcohol ink.

The embellishments are a fuzzy lace dyed with a Jacquard dye and heat set in the dryer, glued around rim of boot, leaving a gap at the zipper; brown grosgrain ribbon caps the trim; gears (Tim Holtz) attached first by double-sided tape so that I could measure the chain and pearls. The pearls are dyed with caramel alcohol ink, as well. Once the chains were sized, the gears were glued on to the shoe with E6000.

steampunk shoe 2 steampunk shoe 1

Turned out pretty, actually.