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10 Easy, Last Minute DIY Stocking Stuffer Tutorials from Functional Rustic

Need some quick, easy, last minute DIY gift ideas for the holiday season? Functional Rustic is here to help! Check out these 10 tutorials that are sure to make your handmade gifts the talk of the gift giving season.

  1. Christmas Tree Crayons

Repurpose those old broken crayons to create the perfect holiday gift for the kids this year. The tutorial uses Christmas tree designs, but you can use any shape you want!

2. 5 Minute Sugar Scrub

The simple sugar scrub is the perfect gift for any occasion. Easy, colorful and it smells good – what more could you ask for?

Photo From: https://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com/sugar-scrub-recipes/

3. Sensory Bottle

A fun, easy craft made with items you probably already have at home. Great gift for someone of any age!

Photo from: https://functionalrustic.com/2018/08/10/sensorybottle/

4. Easy Sun Catchers

Easy, colorful and lots of options for personalization. These sun catchers are sure to catch the attention of your friends and family.

Photo From: https://www.100directions.com/easy-sun-catchers-coloring-pages/

5. T-Shirt Rope Toy

Your furbabies deserve handmade gifts too. This quick, easy craft is perfect for the animal lover in you life. 

6. Stress Balls

The perfect gift for anyone on your holiday gift list this year. Easy, fun and relieves stress – the perfect craft.

7. Canning Lid Bird Feeder

Easy craft that is perfect for the bird lover in your life. 

8. Stress Relief Dough

Relieve stress and moisturize your hands with this easy craft. Perfect gift for anyone on your gift list.

Photo From: https://functionalrustic.com/2018/08/31/stressreliefdough/

9. Galaxy Rock Magnets

This craft is out of this world. East to create, looks great and perfect for anyone on your gift list.

Photo From: https://www.adventure-in-a-box.com/space-rocks-fridge-magnets/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

10. Pop Can Wall Flower

Repurpose that soda pop can into a flower that will bloom all year. 

Photo From: https://functionalrustic.com/2018/10/19/popcanwallflower/

After you finish your creation take a picture and share it with other DIY enthusiasts at DIY Projects of Facebook.

Want to give a handmade gift but don’t want to/don’t have time to make it yourself? Functional Rustic is here to help. Support a small local business AND save money by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store. Below are some of the handcrafted items available. 

Handmade Rustic Décor by Functional Rustic. FREE Shipping. Click Photo to start saving.

Handmade Rustic Décor by Functional Rustic. FREE Shipping. Click Photo to start saving.

Handmade Rustic Décor by Functional Rustic. FREE Shipping. Click Photo to start saving.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Be sure to follow the Functional Rustic Blog for daily inspirational quotations, latest  handmade projects, easy DIY tutorials and stories from the barn.

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2 Item Fire Starter DIY Tutorial by Functional Rustic

It’s cold outside. Winter is rolling in and bringing snow falls and bitter cold temperatures. Although it may be cold outside – the fire in the Functional Rustic wood stove is burning red hot.

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This will mark our second winter heating the house with our wood stove. My husband, Dave, spent the summer finding dead trees and cutting them into fire wood to heat our home. Check out the chain saw video tutorial with Dave HERE. Dave’s hard work has furnished us with approximately 10 chords of hard wood for burning.

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Having a large supply of wood to burn is a great start – but there is more to an effective fire than just fuel. Being able to start the fire is the important part. Last year I used news paper – a lot of news paper – to start the fire each day. It worked – technically. However, I found that the massive amounts of newspaper created vast amounts of ash that ultimately extinguish the flames.

Also, we make our fire first thing in the morning – around 5 am. At that hour, the house is dark and cold. The last thing I want to do when I wake up is waste time fighting with a fire. For that reason, I created fire starters to help me start the day off quickly. I just toss them in, add some wood and light a match.

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My fire starters light quickly but burn for awhile – a great combination for getting the fire started. Keep reading to learn how to make FREE fire starters with items you already have around your home.

Fire Starters DIY Tutorial

Fire Starters by Functional Rustic

Supplies: Dryer Lint & Empty Toilet Paper Rolls

Step One:

Gather lint from the lint trap in your dryer.

Step Two:

Gather empty toilet paper rolls.

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Step Three:

Stuff lint into the empty toilet paper tubes. (I was able to create three fire starts with one lint trap.)

Step Four:

Fold the ends of the tubes so that the lint stays inside.

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Step Five: (Optional)

Write fun messages on the tube or add any colors you want. If I was giving them as a gift I would write messages on them but, for my daily needs I keep them blank.

Step Six:

Share your creation with Functional Rustic on social media using #functionalrustic.

Congratulations! You made your very own fire starter.

Written by : Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just DIY Tutorials? Support a small, local business by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store. Below is a sample of what you can expect to find. Special orders welcome and shipping is FREE!

 

Wooden Thank You Card AQUA BLUE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

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Save Money & Support Local Business: Functional Rustic Approach

Functional Rustic has a promo code now! Use Promo Code: save50 when you check out at Functional Rustic and save 50% on your entire order. And, as always, Functional Rustic offers FAST and FREE delivery right to your door!

Save50 Promo Code
Use Promo Code SAVE50 at www.FunctionalRustic.com to save 50% PLUS FREE SHIPPING on the entire Functional Rustic inventory of handmade rustic décor. Valid thru 12/31/18.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am struggling to get the word out that Functional Rustic is a place to buy things – beautiful, handmade things at that! Apparently most stores use sales and promotional offers to get customers in the door – so Functional Rustic will too!

Sales and promotions are nice and all – but I am most proud of the new items I’ve created. The consistent piece of feedback that I have received is that Functional Rustic could benefit from a bit more color. It is this advice that inspired the purple, green and blue coat racks. Talk about colorful! Not only do I love the colors, but the round “hooks” are actually repurposed drawer handles. Gives them such a unique look!

The coat racks are fun to create but I promised myself I wouldn’t make any more until I sold what I already have. They are priced to sell so I will get to build more in not time. (If you want a coat rack but in a different color let me know and I will happily repaint it for you! Also, if you can’t make it to Countryside but want items you see from the pictures – let me know and I can arrange to have it delivered FREE.)

As of today, all of the new Functional Rustic items are in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. The plan moving forward is to store all the new products at Countryside and pull them off the shelves as needed for craft shows. Keep an eye out for the monthly storewide sales (on top of already low prices) and receive at least 25% discounts on all Functional Rustic items.

Check out the new items at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall below!

Looking for a way to help a stranger this holiday season?

Small home business like Functional Rustic can’t afford the advertising that big retailers are able to utilize. We rely on individuals like you to help us introduce ourselves to the public. By sharing/liking posts from your friends (or strangers like me) you allow their products and ideas to be seen by hundreds more people.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful...

Also, we also do happy a dance anytime someone interacts with our content. Seriously.

Each time Linda Schaub and Dutchll like something I published I grin from ear to ear and do a little dance. They are consistently supportive so I am fortunate to do my happy dance every day. It’s hard to say if their specific interactions increase visitors to the website – but the impact their support has on my confidence & motivation is worth more than any number of visitors. Thank you Linda and Dutch!

Some people believe it is only great power....

I also cannot say enough nice things about a woman I recently met named Anna Hitch. I met her and her husband at our last craft show and it was such a treat. Both she and her husband create beautiful handmade crafts. She works with yarn and he with leather. Anna gets a special shout out in the post because she consistently “likes” the Functional Rustic Facebook posts & she left my first review! Anna is my first non-family member to interact with my Functional Rustic Facebook so she is kind of big deal around here. Please help me say thank you to her by following Anna on Facebook and checking out her Etsy store. (Feel free to use the comment section to help me peer pressure her into starting her own website with an online store. 🙂 )

Thank you for reading and checking out my newest creations. I welcome your feedback in the comments below and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Below are a few of the items available in the Functional Rustic Store:

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Red

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00



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Functional Rustic is Running the Day

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Functional Rustic Barn as the sun rises. www.FunctionalRustic.com

 

I’m running the day and knocking out tasks like crazy.

I. Love. It.

The 10 Inspirational Quotes blog was written and posted early today. Then I spent a few hours taking photos around the property, winterizing the barn and enjoying coffee by the wood burning stove with my husband and our dog.

Today I am working on some new pieces for upcoming craft shows and to sell at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. They are not available in the Functional Rustic online store yet but you can find many of them in the Functional Rustic Etsy Store.

I encourage you to check out the Etsy store. I spent a considerable amount of time last week updating all of the products, photos and descriptions. When I first set up the Etsy store it took me over a week to take and edit photos, write out descriptions and all of the other steps involved in listing items for sale on Etsy. This time around I was able to make all the changes to the store in the course of one day. I am quite proud of myself.

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The expert in anything was once a beginner.

It has been year since I started Functional Rustic and the anniversary is providing me with the opportunity to reflect on how far I have come and how much I have learned. The Etsy store is a perfect example of this. The reason it went so quickly was because I was prepared. I have spent the year taking and editing product photos so when I had to do it last week it was second nature. I did not have to think about how to get the proper angles or correct lighting – because I practiced taking photos everyday for a year I now do it instinctively.

I do not consider myself an expert on building an online store – but I am knowledgeable. This time last year I was completely clueless. I had never used a hashtag #, never published a blog, never thought to sell something I created and never thought I would own my own business.

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Functional Rustic WordPress Website Statistics since August 2018.

I taught myself how to do all of this. Over 10,000 website visitors in the past three months and over 7 million monthly Pinterest views and over 1.6 K followers. (I promise to publish how I did it soon. I have over 50 photos that still need to be edited before I publish the final product. But please, feel free to ask any specific questions you have in the meantime.) I read articles & research papers, watched videos and listened to pod casts. I talked to other start up business owners, crafters and bloggers. I spent days viewing every TedTalk I could find on marketing, branding, and overcoming doubts.

Every single day I taught myself something new about how to start a business. ALSO – each week I taught myself a new DIY skill or project. The amount of knowledge and wisdom I have gained in the past year is astounding.

I really am in awe of what I have accomplished for myself this past year.

I want to see what happens if I dont give up

Like I said, I am getting a lot accomplished today. One of the more productive tasks I accomplished was making promo videos for my signs and chalkboards. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to properly demonstrate the size of my wooden signs and chalkboards. I am hopeful that the videos I took demonstrate it effectively.

I don’t know of any other signs that are thick enough to stand upright on a table. The thickness of the boards has always been the part of my signs that I find most unique. It’s hard to tell in the videos, but it was actually very windy. I’m shocked really, that none of them blew off the deck while I was filming. Ha.

Let me know what you think of the new products / videos below. I can use all the feedback I can get. Thanks in advance!

I’m off to create new projects….may your day be as inspiring as mine!

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card AQUA BLUE

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didn’t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

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T-Shirt Rope Toy DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Don’t throw away those old t-shirts until you read this!

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T-Shirt Rope Toy Tutorial from Functional Rustic. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Chewing on things appears to be our rescue dog’s favorite thing to do. And oh boy can she chew. She was given at least six dog toys at her first Christmas and by Valentines Day they were all destroyed. Maintaining her chewing habit was going to cost us a fortune! Unable to find a rope toy that could stand up to her mighty mouth I decided to make my own.

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Use T-Shirts to make toys for your dog or cat. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Using only t-shirts and scissors I created handmade toys for my animals.

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Rope Toy made from T-Shirts. www.FunctionalRustic.com

I grabbed a pair of scissors and a t-shirt from the good will donation pile and was on my way. My first attempt took longer than I care to admit but by the second I was a pro. Everyone got handmade dog toys that year!
You can create your own handmade gift for the animal in your life. Making a durable rope toy is not only easy but practically FREE! Keep reading and/or watch the video at the bottom to learn how I did it.
T-Shirt Rope Toy Tutorial from Functional Rustic
Materials
Old T-Shirt
Scissors
Approx. 15 minutes to complete
Directions
Step One:
Laying T-Shirt on a flat surface, use the scissors to cut from the bottom corner of the shirt up the seam to the sleeves. Do this on both sides of the shirt.

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Cut from the bottom corner of the shirt up to the sleeve. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Two:
Cut along the seams of each sleeve to remove the sleeves from the shirt.

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Cut along the seams of each sleeve. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Three:
Cut along the seam on the shoulder. At this point you should have two sleeves, a front and a back.

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Remove sleeves but cutting along the seams. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Four:
Set the sleeves aside. Cut the front and the back of the shirt into strips. Start at the shoulder and cut down to the bottom of the shirt. The strips should be at least an inch wide but could be as large as one third of the front or back of a shirt. I wanted to make several toys so I made my strips smaller.

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Cut the T-Shirt into strips. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Five:
Choose three of the fabric strips you just cut and tie the ends together.

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Select the 3 pieces of fabric you want to use. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Tie the ends of two strips together with a double knot and then tie the third strip to the knot. At this point there should be a lot of fabric hanging down one side and only three small pieces at the top. Continue to tie the small pieces to one another so you have a couple double knots on the top.

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Tie two pieces of fabric together at the ends. www.FunctionalRustic.com

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Tie the third piece of fabric to the first two. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Tie everything as TIGHT as you can. With each knot, tug on all the fabric strips. Tug the way your dog would to ensure it is secure. If your short ends are too short to make many double knots it’s no problem, your original knots connecting the three strips together should be strong enough.

Tip: To ensure a tight start to the braid, wrap one of the strips around your toe (or another small secure item) before you start the braid. Watch the video for more information.

Step Six:
Braid the strips of fabric together. Braid them TIGHT! The braid should be so tight that it becomes stiff. In addition to the tight braid you will also need to add a few more knots. Every two or three inches you will want to tie some more knots. (Ex. tie strip A to strip B then tie strip C to strip A then tie strip C to strip B. How you tie the strips together is less important as the knot securing the braid above it.)

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Braid the strips together. www.FunctionalRustic.com

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Tie knots every few inches. www.FunctionalRustic.com

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Leave the ends long to make tassels. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Seven:
You should still have quite a bit of fabric hanging down.

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Continue to braid and tie knots every few inches. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Continue to tightly braid the strips and add knots as needed for stability. Once you get toward the end of the fabric you will want to save some fabric so you can tie several more knots.

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Adding knots in the braid helps to keep it secure. www.FunctionalRustic.com

The knots at the end keep the braid in place and provide a hand/mouth hold.

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Rope toy made from repurposed t-shirts. www.FunctionalRustic.com

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Valencia Merble the Dog loves her rope toy. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Step Eight: (optional)
Add a handle for your dog rope to make it even more unique. Remember that small gap that was created when you wrapped the fabric piece around something small but secure? Well, using the discarded shirt sleeves and that hole you can add handle.

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Adding a handle keeps your hand safe from teeth and drool. www.FunctionalRustic.com

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Adding a handle keeps you from having to bend over to play with your furry friend. www.FunctionalRustic.com

Take the seam of one of the sleeves and push it through the little hole. This will be tough because the hole should not be very big. Once the seam is all the way through you should have one part of the sleeve hole on each side of the toy. Grab one of the sleeve ends and pull it through the hole on the other side. Once you pull it tight it should form a secure handle that looks like the sleeve.

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Thread one of the sleeves through the “toe hole”. www.FunctionalRustic.com

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Use the t-shirt sleeve as a handle. www.FunctionalRustic.com

If you are willing to sacrifice a few t-shirts you can make some very colorful chew toys for your furry friend. Although these toys are durable they are also very light. Makes for a great cat toy too!

Watch the T-Shirt Rope Toy Video Tutorial from Functional Rustic


Written by: Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Originally Published at www.FunctionalRustic.com

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just Tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

“Happy Holidays” Wooden Ornament

“Happy Holidays” Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

Posted on 11 Comments

Troubleshooting the New Display Cart for Functional Rustic

Today is one of those work days that is both fun and frustrating. I am signing up for craft shows and am trying to work out how my new display cart will fit in the various sized booths at the different events.

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Plan to use this bakery cart we got at a garage sale as the center piece for all my items at craft shows.

I just got the wagon and am so excited about it. Picked it up at a garage sale for only $75!! (Everything is better when it’s on sale.) Isn’t it pretty? Doesn’t it look both Functional AND Rustic? It is light weight and rolls very easily. I really could not think of a better craft show display for my items than a functioning bakery cart/wagon.

Adding to the excitement of the cart, I adore the people we bought it from. She is a teacher and he is a social worker. Just like me and Dave (I’m the social worker and my husband is the teacher)! What are the odds of that happening? AND…I recently lost a bunch of weight and needed new clothes on a budget – her clothes fit me perfectly! It is always an added treat when a purchase comes with a memorable story.

The cart barely fits into the bed of the truck but it does fit and it was not hard to get it up into the bed. Ratchet straps worked great to keep it secure and I will find a large tarp to protect it from the Michigan weather during transport. Unloading the cart is simple because of how light it is and the fact that it rolls. Mostly though, it will make transporting my items into the show so much easier. Everything about this cart is amazing.

(The fact that it rolls was very convenient today. Just as I finished taking the video and pictures it started to rain. With only one hand I was able to lift and push it into the garage in seconds and without anything falling off!)

Today was the first day I really took the time to play with the cart. This is the fun part. Most of my inventory is in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall but I do have enough currently on hand to see how items will fit on my new cart. Also, when I build my new items for the upcoming shows I can design them with the display cart in mind.

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Front view of the new Functional Rustic display cart with my creations on it.

Setting everything up and admiring my handy work is a fun way to spend my morning. I often feel like I have not built enough or have not come up with a wide enough variety of items for Functional Rustic but, as I try to fit everything on the cart I am provided with tangible evidence of my hard work.

It is a very proud feeling. Most of the creations I built were done so as a way to cope with the stressors of life. These things only exist because I was feeling sad/angry/anxious and needed a way to cope with those feelings. These are the physical manifestations of my coping skills. I am literally displaying my fears and insecurities to the public in the hopes they will give me money so they can take them home with them.

I find it to be an interesting business model.

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Side view of the Functional Rustic cart with my creations and a pallet storage shelf containing chalk boards.

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Functional Rustic cart with my creations and a pallet storage shelf containing chalk boards.

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Back view of the Functional Rustic cart with my creations and a pallet storage shelf containing chalk boards.

My new cart is 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. I have a craft show I am signing up for and the booth size is 10 feet wide and 7 feet deep. Most craft events I know about have booths of 10×10 so my initial plan for the display was for it be facing forward so all the items are visible and people can walk around the whole cart. Like I said though, 8 foot cart – 7 foot space.

I have been staring at the cart and rearranging items for the better part of an hour trying to come up with the best way to utilize my new cart space and properly display my creations. I am finding myself becoming frustrated and was hoping you could help me troubleshoot my project for the day.

I need to sign up for the show ASAP but have concerns that I may need to purchase two booths to accommodate my new cart. I really want to make the cart fit in one booth so as to keep my buy-in costs lower. The event will provide table and chairs to everyone but I don’t want to look like everyone else. In a show full of tables a cart will stand out and draw people in.

I welcome any feed back and advice you are willing to share. Once I am officially signed up for my events I will share the dates and locations so you can mark you calendars and come out and join me. And, obviously, if you want to buy anything you see in the video/pictures let me know. Everything is for sale and shipping is FREE!

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help me out. I started my own business & have no idea what I’m doing so I appreciate all the guidance I can get.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

Mini Chalk Board – Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

 

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Fork Bending DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

Ariel from the Little Mermaid was on to something when she started her collection of items in a cave under the sea. That’s a girl who sees potential in everything she finds. When Ariel saw a fork she thought it would be perfect for her flowing red hair. When I see a fork I see a treasure trove of opportunities to turn it into something both Functional and Rustic.

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In this week’s Functional Rustic DIY Tutorial we are learning how to bend cutlery to repurpose for crafts.

I was going through the garage when I came across a box with a few odd pieces of cutlery. Obviously, I had to try to repurpose them for something other than eating.
I cleaned off a fork, grabbed some needle nose pliers and started playing around. What I ended up with was a forking awesome rustic business card holder.

The first attempt was successful and not very difficult so I felt confident that I could do a video tutorial for my readers on only my second try. The plan was for it to be one continuous video. Like most repurposing projects around here however, things turned out differently than planned.

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That hole you see in the fork was made with a drill intended for metal. Easier to drill than I expected. Now I know how easy it would be to attach cutlery to a board if I wanted to use them as hooks. The possibilities are endless.

Watch the videos to learn how I created a Functional Rustic card holder/photo display out of a fork. Learn from my mistakes so when you repurpose your forks and spoons you will be prepared.

Well, that ended abruptly. Ha. As you may have noticed in the video, my business card holder is not quite functional yet. It is so non-functioning that it fell over onto the laptop and ended the video. The timing worked out well though because it gave me an opportunity to come up with a solution off camera. (Lot’s of swearing, ha.)

Seriously?! The camera cut out again? At least I was able to demonstrate how to make that final bend in the fork. Check out the final product in the final installment of the DIY Fork Bending Tutorial below.

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to Functional Rustic on YouTube for the latest videos.

This particular tutorial could be both a “How To” and a “How Not To” tutorial. I thought about making another video where everything goes smoothly but, that wouldn’t be nearly as educational or amusing would it? (And the likelihood it would run smoothly the second time is probably low anyway, ha.) I want to teach you the basics and how to face obstacles you encounter. Repurposing projects are filled with things going wrong. Whether you are repurposing your life, your thoughts or an old piece of cutlery – things will fall apart and you will have to learn to pick up the pieces and start over.

I’m currently working on another cutlery project as a gift for my sister. She and her husband are skydivers so I am trying to make something skydive related for them. I call this stage of the project the “proof of concept” stage. Right now I have a general understanding of how I want it to look but, have not determined yet how to keep it together without duct tape. So far it is made of one spoon, two forks, duct tape and a pop can.

What do you think? Any suggestions on how to attach the spoons to the forks without duct tape? Better yet, any suggestions on how to secure it with duct tape and have it still look good? What would you be interested in seeing me try to create with cutlery?

Try bending forks and spoons for yourself and tell me how it worked out. I started DIY Projects of Facebook for the express purpose of providing a platform for you to show off things you create. Share you DIY stories, pictures and videos. Ask other DIY enthusiasts for advice on your DIY project.

As you may see in the above videos, I am a beginner too and can use as much guidance as I can get. Join the DIY Projects of Facebook Group and show us what you’ve made, tried to make or want to create.

Remember: All repurposing projects come with their own unique difficulties AND Do-It-Yourself does not have to mean doing it alone.

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

 

Mini Chalk Board – Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

Posted on 21 Comments

Overcoming Doubts Before Opening to the Public – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published April 30, 2018. Updated September 5, 2018.

My business is opening to the public in a few days and I am a whirlwind of emotions.

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Overcoming Doubts Before Opening to the Public – A Functional Rustic Approach.

I started Functional Rustic about six months ago. I began the business intending to repurpose salvaged wood into furniture and décor and sell it at craft shows. However, winter is a horrible time of year to try to find local craft shows in Michigan.

Realizing the difficulties in selling crafts without a craft show; I started the Functional Rustic website. I took pictures of everything I built and uploaded them to the site. I even set up an online store through Facebook and Etsy.

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“Welcome” Wooden Sign by Functional Rustic.

No one was coming to the website, Facebook page or Etsy store. I felt like such a failure during those early days. (It may be only six months ago but it feels like a lifetime.) I researched everything I could find about building an online business.

The basic principle behind promoting a website is to give visitors a reason to come. I chose to start a blog as a way of increasing interest and awareness for Functional Rustic.

The blog idea came at an ideal time for me. First, it was winter in Michigan so it was quite cold outside. Below freezing temperatures are not ideal for wood working and painting. Second, I hurt my elbow and was unable to build anything anyway.

A little background on me: my youth was spent playing travel ice hockey. For that reason, my instinct when I am hurt or injured is to push through and suck it up. I’m not trying to be tough – I’m trying to stay in the game. For instance, I tore my ACL (a ligament in the knee) during a pre-season skate. It was excruciating. Doctors said I would need surgery to repair it. This was my junior year of high school so I was reaching the point where college scouts could talk to me about playing hockey for them. It was the worst possible time for a high school athlete to have an injury. As I said earlier, the doctors said I needed surgery. However, they also said that because the ligament was torn I could not injure the ACL any more than I already had. I interpreted that as meaning that I could still play hockey if I was able to cope with the pain. Long story short – not only did I continue to play that season but we had over 80 games that year, won the State Championship AND the National Championship. I had surgery on my knee the day after we won nationals. That experience though, changed me. It reinforced a very bad habit of not taking care of myself. It also taught me that I can push through a great deal of pain to achieve a goal. The thing is, just because I can do something does not mean I should.

I mention the high pain tolerance because when I hurt my elbow I did not see my doctor. I figured if I simply rested it would get better. Of course I didn’t actually rest it so, a few months later I officially injured the elbow (Medial epicondylitis & right lateral epicondylitis – aka golfers elbow and tennis elbow.)

Now it was time to see a doctor. I couldn’t even move the arm, much less hold anything in my hand. If I’m willing to see a doctor though, then something is very wrong. How did I allow the pain to get so bad?

You were unsure which pain was worse
You were unsure which pain is worse – the shock of what happened or the ache of what never will.

I cried a lot in the week between scheduling my appointment with the doctor and actually seeing him. I wasn’t crying because I was hurt (ok, maybe a few of the tears were from physical pain); I was crying because my dream of starting my own business by creating décor may now not be possible. My stubbornness in seeing a doctor was sabotaging my goals.

I finally saw the doctor and sat sheepishly as he explained all the reasons that waiting to see him could seriously have jeopardized my recovery. He prescribed a couple of anti-inflammatory pain killers and some physical therapy and I was all set. I may have been feeling physically better after following the doctor’s orders but, the impact on my self confidence and hope for Functional Rustic being successful were greatly impacted.

Adding to the fears of running my own business, I have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder). For me IBS/GERD means chronic fatigue, pain and nausea. It also means that there are days when I physically cannot do anything. I have been lucky since I moved to the country that I haven’t had any major episodes, but at anytime I could be out of commission for several days. As the only employee of Functional Rustic, I cant afford to not do anything for my business for a week simply because I feel sick. I need an approach that promotes both physical wellness and business success.

Not one to give up; I changed the focus of Functional Rustic from just an online store to a DIY resource and source for coping with anxiety and depressive symptoms. As much as it was a business strategy, mostly it was a coping mechanism for dealing with my stressors. I posted things on the website that made me happy and made me feel like I am contributing positively to society. I will lead by example.

It was when I started focusing on taking care of me and helping to inspire others with my experiences that Functional Rustic started to take off. When the focus was making money I was miserable and no one came to the website. As soon as I stopped focusing on earning that dollar and instead focused on just sharing positivity and my life lessons, my website went from 100 visitors a month to over 7,000 a month.

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I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim. I want my battle to make me someone else’s hero.

So, for the past four months I have been building my online presence and increasing awareness for Functional Rustic. I have not thought much about increasing my inventory due to the weather and my injury. However, it is starting to warm outside and my elbow is healed. The time has come to start building again.

I am thrilled to be able to start creating and repurposing again – but I’m also scared. I’m having doubts about my ability to do all of this by myself. Promoting the website, writing blogs and managing social media already take much of my day. That was fine when I was injured and it was snowing, but now I need those hours to build actual products.

Where am I going to find the time to complete everything I need to do? As my success increases so do my responsibilities. I actually wrote a blog about this exact fear here.
That brings us to today. I have been invited to participate in a multi-family garage sale this weekend. I couldn’t be happier about the venue as a location for introducing Functional Rustic to the public.

M15 Garage Sale
M-15 Garage Sale. 60 miles of garage, yard and barn sales.

However, my current inventory is sparse. Everything on the website is everything I have. One of each. Since I have no idea what the public will like and want to buy, I did not build duplicates. I was really hoping that people would be shopping in the online store and I could get an idea of what the public liked. Since I have made no sales in the online store – I have no idea what, if anything, people want.

After I write this post I plan to go to the barn and start building. (hmmm….I wonder if this post is longer than I intended because I am avoiding starting my next task?) I still have no idea what I’m going to build though, and it is definitely stressing me out. I did great when I was focused on sharing and teaching – but building the products is about making money.

I may have a graduate level education – but both of my degrees are in Social Work not business. Social Work is about people – not money. In fact, a social worker’s life is devoted to achieving great things with little-to-no resources or money. Those skills are helpful for starting a business – but less helpful when trying to sell actual items.

Eureka! I figured it out. After writing that last paragraph I read through what I have written so far in this post and found the solution to my problem. (Imagine that, the solution was in front of me all along.)

Sometimes life is about risking everything
Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you.

Right now I am letting fear dictate my actions. Instead of focusing on things I know will make me feel good I am directing my attention to the uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts I have. What I need to do is change my focus.

www.FunctionalRustic.com is more successful than I ever could have imagined at this stage of the game. I accomplished this success by staying true to my original goal of building the life I want. I want to feel at peace. I want to be healthy. I want to inspire others.

The signs and shelves I create make me happy. I feel proud of myself each time I complete a project. My designs are intentionally simple because the point of them is to inspire others that they too can build something like this for themselves. I want people to see what I build and say, “I could build that.”.

I am confident that if I stay true to the vision of inspiring others with what I create then the money part will work itself out.

Functional Rustic Product Collage
Whether I am repurposing a pop can into a plant marker, bending a fork into a business card holder or salvaging discarded pallet wood and creating rustic home décor – there is no shortage of possibilities for the Functional Rustic inventory.

Through sharing my story I intend to demonstrate to others that success can still be achieved even if you are feeling overwhelmed. It is inspiring to see someone struggle yet still achieve greatness. As I work through my doubts I find comfort in knowing that the people I look up to also struggled when they were at this stage.

Functional Rustic is about sharing my story in an effort to inspire others to realize what they want their story to say. Today when I head out to the barn to start building I am going to focus on creating things that make me smile instead of things that will earn me money.

This new mindset is not going to give me more hours in the day to accomplish what I want to do but, it does get me excited to get something done. More importantly, it properly prepares me to accomplish my goals.

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Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

I would love to wrap this post up with an eloquent summary and sage advice but, honestly, I really want to get out in the barn now and start playing with my power tools and pallets.

I may still be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions regarding my introduction to the public but, those emotions are now of determination rather than doubt.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

 

Mini Chalk Board – Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

Posted on 1 Comment

Stress Relief Dough DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic

In honor of Labor Day, Functional Rustic has a relaxing craft for you to try out this weekend. Got ten minutes, some flour, bath oil and hand lotion? Then I have the DIY craft for you! Stress Relief Dough by Functional Rustic.

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Stress Relief Dough DIY Tutorial from Functional Rustic.

This has become my new favorite DIY project. It uses ingredients that I already have around the house so it is completely free. All you need is some baking flour, hand lotion and bath oil (Olive oil probably works too. Food coloring and glitter are optional but add some flare.)

The stress relief dough actually started as an attempt to make slime for my nephew. I scoured Pinterest for DIY slime tutorials but couldn’t find any that required ingredients I actually had. My DIY philosophy is not spending extra money to create a craft. Figure out a way to build it with what you have or don’t build it at all.

The slime project called for corn flour (which I don’t have), Elmer’s glue (I left the lid open and now it’s hard) and hair conditioner (which I also do not have right now). Off to a rocky start.

Determined to create something while also refusing to go to the store – I gathered ingredients that were similar in texture to those that were in the original tutorial.

Stress Relief Dough is what happened as a result.

Stress Relief Dough – DIY Tutorial by Functional Rustic

Ingredients: Flour, Hand Lotion, Bath Oil. Optional: Food Coloring & Glitter.

Time to complete: Ten Minutes

Step One:
Squirt a large handful of hand lotion into a bowl. If you are measuring it out – I’d say about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of hand lotion.

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Add about 1/3 cup of lotion to a bowl.

Step Two:
Optional – If you want the dough to be colored add food coloring now. You don’t need a lot, just a couple drops.

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Add food coloring to the lotion to add color to your dough.

CAUTION: Using a water based food coloring causes the dough to mold after a few weeks. I have not tried the gel based food coloring yet but I theorize it may be less likely to get moldy. I will update this post after I run some tests. Not adding any food coloring enabled the dough to last months though. The  only reason I do not have it today, is that I left it outside in the sun and it melted.

Step Three:
Add Flour. I was DIYing on the fly so I just took a couple handfuls of the flour and added it to the bowl. If you are measuring I recommend starting with 1 cup of flour and adding more as needed.

TIP: For a firmer dough use more flour.

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Add approximately 1 cup of flour.

Step Four:
Mix. Using your hands mix/squish the hand lotion and flour together. As you mix the ingredients it will become more dough like. Knead the dough until the texture is similar to play dough.

Step Five:
Add bath oil. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the dough forming a small bowl and pour in some Bath Oil. If you are measuring I recommend using 1 teaspoon to start. I used Skin-So-Soft from Avon because it is what I had. The oil helps the dough feel less sticky and gives it a stretchy quality. Any moisturizing oil would work and possibly even cooking oil could be used.

Knead the oil into the dough.

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Add some bath/baby oil.

Congratulations!!! You made Stress Relief Dough. No really, you’re done with the project now. Isn’t it fun to squeeze the dough? If you added food coloring you will notice that the more you knead the dough the more the dye is distributed.

Wait, what about the glitter?

Step Six:
Optional – add glitter to the dough. Just as you did when you added the bath oil, press your thumb into the dough and make a small bowl. Pour the glitter into the dough. If you are measuring I recommend 1 teaspoon to start.

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Add glitter to your dough to make it sparkle.

Fold the dough into the glitter and then just keep squeezing and kneading until the glitter is distributed.

I know what you’re thinking….glitter is really messy and I don’t want to get it all over me. Much to my surprise though, the glitter stays in the dough. I’m guessing the oil is a big factor in that. Once the glitter is in the dough it stays there – no need to worry that you will end up wearing it.

Step Seven:
Take pictures and videos of your creation and share them on DIY Projects of Facebook.

This was the first tutorial I attempted to film and had to try it a few times before I was happy. I learned something new each time I tried it so I am including all of the videos here instead of just the “best.” ENOJOY!

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Quack Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

“Quack Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

Mini Chalk Board – Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

Posted on Leave a comment

3 Crafts to Do This Weekend – Tutorials from Functional Rustic

Do you know how to create something? Are you willing to teach others? Functional Rustic wants to share what you know. Write a DIY tutorial and have it published on Functional Rustic. Email Sarah at contact@functionalrustic.com for details.

Looking for a fun and easy craft to do this weekend? Functional Rustic is here to help with 3 quick and easy crafts using items you probably already have at home!

Call me frugal, call me cheap – but when it comes to crafts and repurposing projects I don’t want to spend any money. One of the perks of DIY (Do It Yourself) projects is the cost savings associated with it. If you are anything like me than you will appreciate the 3 (practically FREE) craft tutorials Functional Rustic is presenting this week.

Repurposed Gift Card

The repurposed Amazon gift card is a personal favorite for me. It is simple to create but when shared it can have profound impacts. I repurpose my gift cards into thank you cards for strangers that do kind deeds. It is perfect because I can keep the “Thank You” card in my pocket and when someone is kind (holds a door open, compliments my dog etc.) I can immediately express my gratitude with an actual gift.

Imagine if you held the door open for someone and they said thank you and gave you a handmade Thank You gift. It might make you smile. Perhaps you would be inspired to hold the door open more often now that you know people actually appreciate it. And maybe, just maybe, you will be inclined to keep an eye out for kind people you meet just so you can give the Thank You Card to another kind soul.

Learn how I created the Personalized Gift Card Here.

T-Shirt Rope Toy

Our Furbabies deserve handmade gifts too! Valencia Merble the dog, our rescue dog, is what one might call a “power chewer”. That means that Val can completely destroy most dog toys in a matter of minutes. Wanting to spoil my dog but not wanting to break the bank doing so – I made my own toys for her.

This craft is fun because people of all ages can participate. As long as you can tie a knot and make a braid, you can make this toy. If you do not know how to tie a knot or braid – no problem! – the video tutorial explains it all.

Fun side note – the first time I published this tutorial I did not have a video – I simply advised the reader to braid the fabric. Well, in preparation for a craft show my mom came over to help me create some rope toys. I told her how to make it and she informed me that she did not know how to braid. This information blew my mind. How did I learn to braid if my mom didn’t know? I just assumed I learned it from her. Learning from my new found knowledge, I’ve added a video to further explain the process.

Learn how to make your own Rope Toy out of T-Shirts Here.

Sensory Bottle

sensory bottle title page

Oil and water don’t mix but add some food coloring and a little glitter and you’ve got your very own sensory bottle. Quick, easy and oh so satisfying are the descriptors for this jewel. The best part of this project is the possibilities are endless for to make them unique to you.

Not only is the sensory bottle fun to interact with, creating it can be an educational activity too. It is the perfect craft to demonstrate how liquids have different densities, how color disperses in liquid and how glitter falls at different rates depending on the viscosity of the liquids.

Learn how to make the Sensory Bottle Here.

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just tutorials? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

Mini Chalk Board – Blue by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

 

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00