Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Dew" It Yourself Jewelry Stand

Given that title and my penchant for puns, I'm guessing it will take you guys exactly 3.7 seconds to guess what my new jewelry stand is made from:

Aw, you only needed two seconds, didn't you?

I knew it.

Yep, this pretty green number is made from four plastic Mountain Dew bottles and exactly $3.72 worth of materials from the hardware store. Not too shabby. It also only took about two hours to make, so let's get to it!

First, collect your bottles. You'll need two 2 liter bottles, one 1 liter, and one 20 oz bottle.

If you happen to have a Diet 'Dew addict for a spouse like me, this will take less than three days.

I found it easiest to cut the bottoms off my bottles with a strong utility knife, and then trim them down further with scissors. Trim them as much or as little as you like: I like my trays pretty shallow, since that enhances the "flower" look.

Other than the bottles you will need:

One 12-inch length of threaded rod (no cutting necessary; they come this size in the hardware store) and one baggy each of a coordinating size nuts and washers. Again, these three items cost me less than $4 total.

Drill holes that are the same size as your threaded rod in the center of each tray:

If you want your lowest tray to double as a bracelet hanger, cut between the "petals" of the bottle bottom to separate them, like so:

Cut as far down into the plastic as you can with scissors, and then use a Dremel to smooth the jagged bottom edge. (PLEASE wear safety glasses: little bits of plastic can go flying!)

As you can see, the Dremel gives a nice rounded edge to the "v" between each "petal."

The Dremel will leave a lot of plastic "fuzz" around the edges. Use a metal file to smooth this out a bit:

Then use small nips (I used cuticle trimmers) to trim off any stubborn excess "fuzz:"

Now you're ready to assemble your stand!

Remember to sandwich each tray between two washers, between two nuts. If your drilled holes are the correct size, each tray will be tight enough that you'll need to screw it into place on your threaded rod. In fact, expect to spend a good five minutes spinning the middle tray into place. :)

It's not craft time without a cat or two sitting on my supplies.

Your second 2 liter bottle bottom will act as the stand's base; just flip it upside down:

And for a final finishing touch, glue a pretty glass bead to the top nut:

(I also snipped and glued a metal bead post into the bead itself to cover the hole.)

This stand is surprisingly steady - if it rocks, trim your bottom edge to make sure it's level - and the trays can hold a ton of jewelry without flexing a bit:

And now, a few more beauty shots.

Because I am really loving my new camera. :)

Can you believe I took these shots at night? The extra high ISOs of the 7D are my new best friend.

See all my bracelets hanging on the bottom? There's also room in each petal to fit a matching ring or pin - and again, the plastic is so strong it doesn't flex a bit.

Ok, last one:

Oh, and you can do this with any kind of soda bottle, of course, so long as you have three different sizes to work with. I'm currently wondering if Orange Crush bottles are actually orange, for obvious reasons. [eyebrow waggle] It'd also be fun to mix colors, although I can't think of any other brands that might have colored bottles. Let me know in the comments if you know of any, won't you?

Happy crafting, and as always, please send pics if you guys try this out yourself!