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Crafted Clutter

Three DIY projects to transform your garage junk to one-of-a-kind artworks worth keeping.

March 2014

Nothing brings spring-cleaning sprees to a halt like a sentimental attachment to past-peak gear. Fortunately, with the help of Becky Hensley—head of the Denver Craft Ninjas and co-founder of Share Denver, a crafting instruction center in Park Hill—we’ve discovered three DIY projects that transform your garage-hogging shrine to the good ol’ days into clever one-of-a-kind artworks worth keeping.

 

handlebarsHandlebar Taxidermy

You’ll need:
• Handlebars from your once-trusty steed.
• A wooden plaque that’s at least a quarter of the width of the handlebars 
• Stain
• Two metal U-shape brackets with screws

To make it:

1. Remove the handlebars from the bike with the stem attached; if the stem is long, use a metal saw to trim it down to about six inches. 
2. Stain the plaque and let dry.
3. Center the stem in the middle of the plaque with the handlebars pointing up. 
4. Fit the brackets around the stem, one above the other, two inches apart. 
5. Screw the brackets into the plaque to  secure the handlebars in place.
6. To hang, attach a picture hanger to the back of the plaque.

braceletNuts and Bolts Bracelets

You’ll need:

• A spool of cotton butcher’s twine 
• 18 small brass hex nuts 

To make it:

1. Cut the twine into three yard-long pieces.
2. Tie the three pieces of twine into a knot, leaving two inches to spare at the tops. 
3. From the knot, braid an inch of twine. Then slide a nut up the far left strand of twine, pressing it to the base of the braid before crossing the strand to the center. Hold the nut firmly in place as you thread another nut onto the far right strand of twine, then cross that strand into the center. 
4. Continue adding nuts alternately to the left and right strands of the braid, keeping them in place with your thumb, until you’ve used all the nuts. Braid the twine for another inch; then tie a knot at the end. 
5. Trim the excess, leaving enough length to wrap the bracelet around your wrist a few times and tie it.

skis

Ski Refrigerator Magnets

You’ll need:

• Skis
• A circular saw
• Sandpaper
• Varnish
• E6000 craft glue
• Magnets

To make it:

1. Using the circular saw, cut the skis down into manageable squares—about an inch wide—avoiding steel edges that could damage the blade. Note: Do not attempt this project with skis that have a metal layer within the core. 
2. Sand the cut edges to remove snags and rough spots. 
3.Varnish the ski pieces to seal the edges and create a shiny, durable finish. 
4. Once the varnish has dried, glue a strong magnet (available at craft stores) to the back of each piece.


—Images From top: courtesy of Regan Appleton; istockphoto; courtesy of Brika