Monthly Archives: February 2012

Reclaimed Towel Dog Toy

The idea for this reclaimed towel dog toy all started with our puppy boy Maxx who always loved to play tug with his towels as soon as we dried him off after a bath or after playing in the snow. We wanted to recycle some old terry cloth towels that Maxx had ripped up. These towels were still solid enough to make some kind of simple tug toy for Maxx to play with.

We snugly rolled up the towel length-wise (so that a small ripped part in the middle was hidden) and then carefully tied one end of the rolled up towel into a big knot (making sure to tuck the towel end tip inside the loop of the knot). The tug toy is very sturdy, yet soft enough that it won’t hurt a dog’s mouth when he pulls and bites it. It’s also easy to keep clean because the tug toy can always be untied and thrown in the washer. Once the tug toy gets worn out, one can easily make another one from old towels. The towels could also be cut up into smaller strips for smaller pets.

Collage On Lampshade

A great way to give old worn out or damaged lamp shades a different look and feel is to cover them with anything from leftover fabrics to holiday wrapping paper. In the case of the lampshade featured here, I decided to cover it with some type of fabric or paper when I found it had gotten stained after many years in our garage. I was lucky to find a beautiful Victorian print wrapping paper that had the colors and feel of the look I was trying to capture. To get started, I first removed the outer cloth-like fabric from the lampshade, which revealed a white plastic lampshade base. To give this white plastic base a more antique look, I painted the inside of the lampshade with a brown acrylic craft paint. The lampshade also had a narrow white cloth strip at the top and bottom rims, so I used a strong cup of coffee and paintbrush to tint both of the white cloth strips.

I then cut out all of my favorite pictures from the Victorian wrapping paper, and pieces from some leopard print wrapping paper too. I also have some rubber stamps of different old world pictures (like the London Tower, the Paris Eiffel Tower, and other various Victorian images) which I stamped onto parchment paper and cut out as well. Next, I laid out all of the pictures on a table so that I could see their placement before gluing them onto the lampshade. Once I finished positioning the pictures in an order I found very pleasing, I used a sponge brush and Mod Podge to apply the pictures onto the old lampshade. After the lampshade thoroughly dried, I applied another coat of Mod Podge on the entire shade to seal it. I let that coat dry for a couple hours, and then applied one more coat, which gave the pieces a blended look.

I was very happy with the results and although I didn’t use any decorative embellishments on the top and bottom edges of my lampshade, you can always use beautiful fringe, jewels or textured trim to decorate your lampshade. After a party or any holiday, if I come across a beautiful piece of wrapping paper, I try to recycle as much of it as I can for future craft projects.

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