Category Archives: DIY

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Belt Bracelet DIY

A great way to nurture creativity is to try something new.  This belt bracelet DIY is a low-cost, fun way to expand your horizons and make something fun that you can show off to your friends.

Leather bracelets are trendy, earthy and so versatile. Leave the leather unadorned or attach a button, an old broach or an item that has special meaning to you to add your own personal touch.  You may even have a belt in your closet that you can use for this project.

Let’s get started!

Materials:

  • Narrow belt (approximately 1/2 inch wide)
  • 2 – 1/2 Inch Ribbon Crimps
  • 7-10 Split Rings
  • Lobster Clasp
  • Headpin
  • Decorative Beads

Tools:

  • Scissors • X-Acto Knife
  • 2 Pairs of Round Nose Pliers
  • Split Ring Pliers
  • Wire Cutters

1. Use your ruler to determine a straight line across the belt, near the belt buckle. Use your X-Acto knife or sharp scissors to make a straight cut to remove the belt buckle.

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2. Loosely wrap the belt around your wrist 3 times to measure length needed. Hold your finger to mark where the end of your belt meets on the third wrap. Lay the belt flat on your cutting mat making sure to keep your finger at the spot where the to ends met. Subtract 1.5 inches from this length to allow for your ribbon crimps and closure and cut belt to length with x-acto knife or scissors. Wrap the belt around your wrist again to make sure you have cut off enough to leave a 1.5 inch space between the two ends on third wrap.

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3. Attach ribbon crimps to each end of the belt. To do this simply slide your belt into the opening and squeeze the entire length of the crimp with pliers tightly.

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4. Connect 2 split rings using the split ring pliers.

5. Attach the lobster clasp to one end of the split rings.

Split Rings on Lobster Clasp

 

6. Attach the other end of the split rings to the ribbon crimp.

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7. Make a chain by attaching at least 5-7 split rings.

Split Rings

8. Attach split ring chain to the other ribbon clasp.

Split Rings to Crimp

 

9. Thread beads onto the headpin.

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10. Form a loop at the top of your beads by wrapping the wire around the nose of your round nose pliers.

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11. Thread the open loop onto the end of your split ring chain. To close the loop simply hold your loop with one set of round nose pliers and use the other set of round nose pliers to grasp the end of the wire and wrap it around the base next to the bead. Once you have done this snip the wire close to the wrap and bend in the end so that it doesn’t catch.

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12. Try on your fabulous new earth friendly triple wrap belt bracelet!

Triple Wrap Belt Cuff

We hope you enjoyed this DIY project.  If you would like to see more of our bracelet designs click here.

We hope you are having a happy and creative summer!

Preservation Hall Jazz Band NOLA

Creative Inspiration from New Orleans

In our last blog post we suggested some ways to nurture your creative spirit.  I (Carolyn) took our advice and tried #15 last week.  I took a trip to New Orleans with my husband.  It’s impossible to spend time in that city and not feel creatively inspired.  They have the best of my favorite forms of creativity:  food, art and music.

On Monday night, after a day of exploring the Garden District and French Quarter, we visited Preservation Hall, an all ages historic jazz club in the French Quarter.  The music was amazing and I fully enjoyed it but by then I was a little creatively distracted; imagining all pieces of jewelry I could make from the instruments that the musicians were playing.  So the first chance I had when I got home I made a few new things.

I have thinking about how to use a piano key for a while.  I started off with the idea of making earrings but I ended up with a necklace.  Isn’t that always how the creative process works?  You never know what the end result will be.  You can find this necklace on our website by clicking here.

Piano key "before" picture.

Piano key “before” picture.

Cutting piano key with scroll saw.

Cutting piano key with scroll saw.

Sanding piano key with disc sander.

Sanding piano key with disc sander.

Cutting piano key into smaller pieces with scroll saw.

Cutting piano key into smaller pieces with scroll saw.

Piano Key Necklace

This is what emerged from the dust – a piano key necklace

Piano Key Necklace

Piano Key Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trombone player at Preservation Hall was amazing.  His trombone caught my eye and I was thinking about making a necklace with it.  This is what emerged today.  You can find these earrings on our website in silver by clicking here and in gold by clicking here.

Trombone

Trombone “before” picture.

Cutting the trombone with my Dremel

The first cut.

Cutting the trombone down to size using my trusty Dremel.

Cutting the trombone using my trusty Dremel.

Sanding metal isn't for the faint of heart or for gloveless fingers.

Sanding metal isn’t for the faint of heart or for gloveless fingers.

My drill press making drilling holes for the ear wires quick and easy.

My drill press makes drilling holes for the ear wires quick and easy.

Trombone Earrings

Trombone Earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the upright bass.  I’ve been eyeing the tuning pegs for some time now.  Little did I know that they are extremely difficult to cut and virtually impossible to drill a hole through.  This is what I ended up with after several broken drill bits and a bruised pride.  You can find this necklace on our website by clicking here.

Upright Bass scroll and pegs.

Upright Bass scroll and pegs.

I could unscrew the tuning peg so I had to cut it off using my Dremel.

I couldn’t unscrew the tuning peg so I had to cut it off using my Dremel.

The end result - necklace made from bass peg.

The end result – necklace made from bass peg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also have other jazz band inspired jewelry available on our website made from drums, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets and more.  Check out our Band of Angels Musical Instrument Jewelry Collection by clicking here.

It’s important to note that no working instruments were harmed in the making of this jewelry. We only use instruments that have been deemed irreparable by experts.  A portion of the proceeds from all of our musical instrument jewelry collection goes directly to Band of Angels KC, an organization who collects, repairs and distributes instruments to kids in need who would like to participate in band and orchestra programs.  Our donations, specifically, are used to send kids in need to music camp.  We are very proud to work with this amazing organization.

We had such a wonderful time in New Orleans and appreciated every second of our visit.  We hope that you find a magical place that inspires you this summer whether it be in your back yard or somewhere far away.

 

DIY Reindeer Ornament from Monique of Farm House Quilts

Our friend Monique from Farm House Quilts has generously agreed to be our guest blogger this week.  She has prepared this super cute Reindeer Ornament DIY for you.  Visit Monique’s online store at www.zibbet.com/farmhousequilts.

This would be a fun craft to do with the kids or for your neighborhood ornament exchange.  Have fun with it and get your creative on!

Here’s what you will need:

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  • gluegun
  • three flat old fashioned clothespins
  • 2 googly eyes
  • 1 small red pompom
  • a piece of ribbon

Step 1:  Turn the clothespin upside down and glue the eyes and nose as shown.

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Step 2:  Glue the two unused clothespins together.

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Step 3:  Glue the “head” to the “body”.

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Step 4:  Take a length of ribbon and make into a bow.

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Step 5:  Glue the bow to the neck as shown.

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Your reindeer is now ready to “sit” on any branch of your Christmas tree!

Happy holidays!

DIY Christmas Ornament From Repurposed Measuring Stick

I love old wood yard & meter sticks.  They used to be given away free as marketing materials and now they average around $8 each at antique stores.  I decided to make a Christmas ornament out of one of the old folded measuring sticks that has been hanging around my workshop for a while.  You could make this ornament using an old ruler you have hanging around as well.

Before we get started we’d like to thank Tracy Spisak, photographer extraordinaire from Gallery Portaiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!

This is what you’ll need:

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  • Measuring stick or ruler cut to the size you’d like
  • Letters from your local craft store
  • Jump rings
  • Ribbon
  • 2 pairs of pliers
  • E6000 or Tacky Glue
  • Seasonal buttons or decoration

1.  Choose the festive word that you’d like to spell and drill corresponding holes in the bottom of the measuring stick to hang the letters from.  Then drill a hole in the top left hand and right hand corners to string the ribbon through.

2.  Run the jump ring through the hole in the top of the letter and the hole in your measuring stick.  To open and close your jump ring grasp it with a pair of pliers on each side of the split.  Then twist in opposite directions – basically one hand should be going towards you and the other away.  Never pry the jump ring directly apart horizontally.  Attach all of your letters.

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3.  Cut a piece of ribbon about a foot long.  Run one end of the ribbon through the right upper hole and one through the left upper hole on your measuring stick.  Knot the ends of the ribbon and trim the ends.

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4.  I added a silver glittery button to the ornament to give it some sparkle.  You could add anything that catches your eye.  I also tied a knot in the upper part of the ribbon for a little extra flair.

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5.  Show off your crafty skills all your friends!

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If you aren’t up to making your own ornament check out our website (www.hangupsinkc.com) to check out what our creations.  They make great teachers and hostess gifts!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hang Ups Holiday Ornament DIY – Scrabble Tile & Measuring Stick Ornament

Ornaments make great teacher gifts.  Teachers gifts are even more special when students help to create them.  You could have your child help design this ornament adding personal touches for their teacher.

A special thank you to Tracy Spisak from Gallery Portraiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!

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Vintage Measuring Stick Ornament

It is great if you have vintage wood Scrabble tiles for this project but not necessary. Hobby Lobby sells wood letter tiles that work great. Have your child spell our a word that reminds them of their teacher to personalize this gift.

Ingredients:

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  • Wood letter tiles.
  • Wood measuring stick – you could even use a wood ruler that you have hanging around at home.
  • Brown ink.
  • Ribbon.
  • Decorative touches like snowflakes, jingle bells or festive colored beads.
  • Jump Ring.
  • Pliars.
  • Glue.

You can personalize this ornament by adding charms, beads or Christmas findings that your child chooses.

Step 1:

We prepared a piece of inexpensive measuring stick that we found at an antique store by cutting it to the correct size to fit the word we chose, drilling a hole in the center of the top and bottom and sanding off all rough edges.  We wanted the wood letter tiles to have more of a vintage feel so we used a brown ink pad to softly antique the edges of the front and sides of the tile.

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Step 2:

We then used E6000 glue to attach the letter tiles to the measuring stick. You may prefer to stagger your letters left and right, center them or move them to one side as we do.  This is another design aspect your child can help with.

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Step 3:

We glued on snowflakes to give this ornament a festive feel.  This is the hard part…you need to leave this ornament alone for several hours to allow the glue to set.  E6000 takes several hours to bond securely but is very strong.  If you prefer using hot glue go ahead!

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Step 4:

Run a metal jump ring through the bottom hole in the ornament and hang either pretty beads, jingle bells or whatever you think is pretty from the bottom.  We chose a Santa bell.  When opening Jump rings never pull the edges away horizontally, always pull them apart as pictured below so that they go back into a perfect circle.  Next run a pretty ribbon through the top hole and PRESTO you have a beautiful and unique handmade ornament.

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Hang Ups Holiday DIY – Vintage Cookie Cutter Ornament

November is DIY Ornament Month at Hang Ups!  We are SO excited to share some ornament making ideas with you.  Some of our creative friends will also be sharing their creations.  This is going to be so much fun!

Ornaments make great teacher and hostess gifts.  If you love the idea of giving a hand-made ornament, but don’t want to make one, head over to our website www.hangupsinkc.com and check out our ornaments.  Many of them are part of our Literacy Kansas City Collection, where part of the proceeds go to that amazing organization.

A special thank you to Tracy Spisak from Gallery Portraiture (www.galleryportraitureinc.com) for photographing this DIY project!

Our first DIY project is an Antique Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornament.

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We were able to find a bag of cookie cutters for a reasonable price at a local antique store.  It is important to get the cookie cutters that have backs on them for this project.

Ingredients:

  • Cookie Cutters
  • Old Christmas Cards or firm cardstock
  • Ribbon
  • Glitter
  • Tacky Glue or E6000 (optional)
  • Modge Podge
  • Scissors
  • Metal hole punch
  • Foam Paintbrush to spread Modge Podge

Step 1:

Turn the card stock with the picture part down and trace the shape of the ornament with a pencil.  Cut slightly smaller than what you drew.  You may have to trim it to get it to fit into the cookie cutter.

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Step 2:

Before gluing make sure that your paper fits inside the cookie cutter.  Pop out the paper and spread glue or modge podge on the inside of the cookie cutter.  Press your paper (pretty side up) into the cookie cutter making sure that the paper is laying flat.

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Step 3:

Spread modge podge onto the paper wiping off any excess that is on the sides of the cookie cutter.  Using your fingers lightly sprinkle glitter on top of the wet modge podge.

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Step 4:

Using a metal hole punch or drill, poke a hole in the top of the cookie cutter to run the ribbon through.  My metal punch is small so I punched several holes so that it was big enough for the ribbon to run through.

DSC_0079Step 5:

Cut off about a foot of ribbon from your spool.  Fold your ribbon in two and run the folded side through the hole.  Run the other side of the ribbon through the loop making a loose knot.  Knot the top of the ribbon so that it will hang from your tree.

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Step 6:

Show all your friends how talented you are by showing off your new creation.  Happy Holidays!

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Button Bracelet DIY

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Todays confession:  Kristi and I are more than a little obsessed with buttons.  We love new buttons but especially love vintage buttons.  We thought it would be fun to do a DIY tutorial on making button bracelets.  It’s a fun and inexpensive activity to do at birthday parties, with your kids over the summer or for yourself.

What you need:

  • Waxed linen.  It is more firm than regular crochet linen and you can buy it for about $1.99 at Hobby Lobby or your local craft store.  Use a coupon and you can get it for just over $1!
  • Buttons; you can use buttons that you have around your house or buy them for just a few dollars at thrift stores, craft stores, antique malls, etc.
  • Beads; they are very inexpensive at craft stores.
  • Scissors.
  • Super Glue.

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Start by measuring your wrist to determine how many inches long your bracelet needs to be.  Your clasp will be a button that you will slide through a loop at opposite end of the bracelet.

Start by cutting 2 lengths of about 25 inches of the brown waxed linen.  Line them up together and slide the ends through the button.  Create a knot by making a circle with the linen near the button and pulling the linen through it making a nice tight knot at the base of the button.

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Slide a bead onto the two pieces of linen and nestle it close to your clasp button.  Make a knot after the bead.  Separate the ends of the waxed linen sliding the ends through the first button hole in opposite directions.  Pull it snugly against the knot you made.  Do the same for the next button hole and tie a knot.  Add another bead and knot again.

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Continue threading the buttons and beads alternately onto the bracelet, knotting on either side.

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Once you have added the last button tie off the end of your bracelet with a slip knot.  Pull tightly and, if you want, make a another knot around your existing knot.  Once you have pulled the knot tight trim off ends and glue the knot with a bit of Super Glue.

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How fun was that?  Have a great summer!

Polymer Clay Charms

DIY Polymer Clay Pendants

Are you looking for something to do with your kids this summer?  This project is one of my favorites and is perfect to do with kids. Its fun to play with the clay and the supplies you need are easy to find as well as affordable.  You bake the clay in your own oven, and some items you may already have in your house.
Supplies Needed

Supplies Needed

What you will need:

  • Polymer Clay – I use Sculpey which you can find at most craft stores in a variety of colors. Any brand of polymer clay will work.
  • Studio by Sculpey Antiquing Medium – If you want to add color to your piece once it is baked. I like the chocolate brown color the best.
  • Studio by Sculpey Satin Glaze – This is a clear glaze that goes onto the piece at the end to protect it and seal it. They also make a gloss if you prefer that.
  • Rubber Stamps – these can be wood block or clear, it really does not matter. You can also use anything with a texture that can be pressed into the clay.
  • A spray bottle with water – I use an old windex bottle but any type of squirt bottle will work.
  • Scrap Paper – Any type of white paper will work, I use scrap paper from my office or old homework sheets from the kids.
  • Paint Brush(es) – I find it easiest to use smaller brushes to apply the antiquing medium and satin glaze.
  • A Wood Barbeque Skewer – Or anything that will make a hole in the clay so you can add a jump ring or put some sort of stringing material into it. You will want your hole to be at least a 1/16 inch and I find these bamboo skewers work best for me.
  • Small bowls or cups – for water and to put your antiquing medium and satin glass into while you work with it. You can use just about anything that you have around.

Step 1 – Pull a piece of clay from your package. The clay is marked in bars and I usually pull out one of those bars and start working with that. Whether your clay is soft or not you will want to work with it for a good 15 minutes. Knead it, fold it, roll it, flatten it, roll it again. This is what cures the clay and gives it strength. If you do not work with your clay then it may be brittle and/or break after it is baked. A good test to see if your clay is ready is to flatten out a piece to about 1/8” and if you see any cracks around the edges you will need to work with it some more, if not it should be ready to go. If the clay is really dry you can add a bit of water to it and work it in slowly.

Shaped Clay Ready to be Stamped

Shaped Clay Ready to be Stamped

Step 2 – Decide how big you want your piece to be and pull off a piece of your clay, shape it and flatten it to approximately 1/8” thick. I don’t like to go much thinner than this so the piece is strong. You can roll it out with a roller and cut a shape if you want but I like to organic look of shaping it myself. I will sometimes use the back of a stamp block to flatten it so it is a nice clean flat surface.

Place Clay Onto Stamp

Place clay onto stamp that has been spritzed with water

Press Down Firmly to Make the Impression

Press down firmly to make the impression

Step 3 – Pick a stamp or other textured item to imprint into the clay. Spray it will a spritz of water from your spray bottle. This helps to keep the clay from sticking to the stamp. Place your stamp so the impression size is face up and place your clay where you want the image to be. Using the other stamp or your hand press down firmly on the clay without flattening it out completely. Pull your clay from the stamp and take a look at it. If the image is not even or you don’t like it then just scrunch up your clay and try again. This is the best part of this project, if you don’t like what you see you can just scrunch up the clay and try again until you get something you like.

Using Skewer Make a Hole at the Top

Using a skewer make a hole at the top of your piece

Step 4 – Using your skewer or other tool make a hole in your piece where you can either put a jump ring or run a string through it to hang it. Be mindful of not getting too close to the edge. After you make your hole look at the back of the piece and flatten out any clay that may have been pushed through with the skewer.

Place Clay on Paper on a Cookie Sheet

Place clay on a sheet of paper onto a cookie sheet

Step 5 – Place your clay piece on a sheet of paper on a cookie sheet. Follow the baking directions on the clay you purchased. For the Sculpey they suggest 275° for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay. My pieces are usually closer to 1/8 inch and this time works fine for me.

Step 6 – Let your clay cool completely

Brush on Antiquing Medium with Water to fill in Impressions

Brush on antiquing medium with water to fill in impressions

Step 7 – If you choose to add the antiquing medium to your clay now is the time to do it. Simply put a small bit of the antiquing medium in a bowl and also have a bowl of water ready. Dip your paint brush into the water and then put a small amount of the antiquing medium on it. Then paint over your piece. The idea is that the color will go down into the impressions made on the clay. If you have too much color then add some water to your brush and go over your piece again. This is another time you can play with how you want it to look. If you don’t like what you have done you can wash it off, dry off the piece and try again. Once this is dry you can do the same to the back of the piece if you want or leave it as is.

Cover Clay with Satin Glaze After Antiquing Medium is Dry

Cover clay with satin glaze after antiquing medium is dry

Step 8 – Using a clean dry paint brush put some of the satin glaze into a bowl and then using your brush apply to the front of your piece. It is clear and may bubble up a little but these will disappear as it dries. Let it dry completely and then do the back of your piece also. You want to be sure that all sides are covered with the glaze so the piece is sealed.  Let it dry completely. (takes about 20 minutes to dry completely).

Proud of her new necklace she made all on her own.

Proud of her new necklace she made all on her own.

 

Some of the pieces we made today. Some are finished, others are waiting to be added to other pieces. Gotta love the mustache necklace my daughter made.

Some of the pieces we made today. Gotta love the mustache necklace my daughter made.

That’s it, you are done, except for hanging it. You can hang it on a cord or a chain or whatever you have handy. I put a jump ring through mine and then put them on a suede cord (you can find these at most craft stores also.

Happy Creating from Hang Ups in KC!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Remove Keys From a Typewriter

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I have an addiction to antique typewriters.  There, I admitted it.  They are so beautiful even when they aren’t shiny anymore.  It breaks my heart to remove the keys but after the first clip I’m unstoppable.  I’ve had a number of people ask me how I remove the keys.  Warning:  it’s not for the faint of heart.  You need to have some muscle and the right tools.

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Tools required:  Safety glasses, tin snips, pliars, wire cutters and a dremel.  It is extremely important to wear safety glasses while you are working.  As I work, little pieces of metal and often the actual typewriter keys ping against my safety glasses.

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Flip your typewriter upside down.  Ewww…it’s a little dirty and nasty in there isn’t it?  No problem, you are going to snip the keys off anyway.

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Once you snip the keys off you will need to remove the arm.  If you are working with an old Underwood typewriter all you need to do is to lift the 3 metal flaps on the back of the key and use something sharp like a pair of pliars to pry the key off the arm.  Once you’ve done that simply fold the metal flaps back down and you are set to go.  If you are working with a brand of typewriter like my Remington Rand you will need to use your Dremel to cut the back off the key and then sand off any rough edges.  I wear a glove on the hand holding the pliars gripping the typewriter key to protect my hand as sparks and metal fly.

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The next step is easy.  Have fun creating something that you love!  We hope this DIY post was helpful!

Kristi & Carolyn