One of the best things about a Koozie® can cooler is the way it keeps your drinks cold and your hands dry (duh). But here at Koozie, we think the coolest thing about our can coolers is when our fans express themselves with our awesome products. After all, a Koozie® is only as chill as the person holding it.
To celebrate all the Koozie® can cooler DIYers out there we decided to ask one of our favorites, Deb Bratcher with The Bamboo Board by Deb, ten questions to give you some insight into why crafting is cool.
- 1. Tell us about how you got started doing DIY projects. How long have you been a DIYer?
- I have been a DIYer for many, many years, I enjoy crafting and have created so many things during my crafting career, it would be impossible to list them! My mind is constantly yearning to craft or do something creative. It relaxes me, and I usually love my end results along with the people who receive my items. In the past I taught small crafting classes as a Girl Scout leader, and I also love to paint.
- 2. What kind of equipment did you have when you started? Is that different than what you use now?
- Years ago, I did most of my “crafting” using a sewing machine; creating quilts, wall hangings, appliquéd sweatshirts and tee shirts. These were very time consuming, but the end results were great.
Now I have an AWESOME machine called the Cricut air2. I design on my computer then send the design to my Cricut which, in turn, will cut out vinyl that can be applied to different surfaces. There are different types of vinyl for fabric, wood, glass, canvas, Koozie® can coolers – really anything – which makes creating products and branding my small business easier.
- 3. What projects are you currently working on?
- My newest crafting obsession is wood burning one-of-a-kind designs on wooden blocks. I usually burn on bamboo cutting boards, recipe boxes, utensils, salt boxes, and other similar wood items. My new small business, The Bamboo Board by Deb has me hand-drawing designs and burning them into these kinds of wood pieces to create unique products.
I sell these products and my Koozie® can cooler designs at local events when the Florida heat isn’t too intense. I also create custom items for wedding gifts, baby shower favors, special events and more. I have fun with my side business and look forward to crafting into retirement. It’s a great hobby I enjoy, where I also get to make a little money.
- 4. Where do you look to be inspired for your DIY projects.
- Everywhere! I am constantly on the lookout for ideas to inspire me. Inspiration can be anywhere.
- 5. What has been your favorite project? What was your least favorite?
- I recently wood burnt an image of our dog on a wood slice for my husband’s birthday. I must admit the detail turned out amazing and it looks just like her! It did take SEVEN hours to create this burn, but I love it. Working with clients can be difficult because sometimes what they want doesn’t line up with my own artistic vision. It’s not always easy, but I aim to please.
- 6. Why do you prefer to use Koozie® can coolers instead of generic can coolers for your DIY projects?
- My years of experience have taught me that Koozie® can coolers are just easier to work with. My results turn out great. So much so that I give a Koozie® can cooler to my customers as a “thank you” gift with purchase and they are usually thrilled!
- 7. Tell us something unexpected about you, your life of the DIY business.
- I have a shy side and was a wallflower growing up. I love to sing and dance, usually only at home, although I did win a dance competition when I was a teenager! For the last 14 years I raised three of my grandchildren from the ages of six months, two years and four years old until they were 14, 16 and 18.
I’m an artist and have always enjoyed creating stuff whether that means recycling, up-cycling, sewing, painting, burning or jewelry making. I am always open to exploring new avenues and love teaching others the joys of DIY. I fell into my business by accident after making Christmas gift baskets that included a hand burnt design on a bamboo cutting board. The gift recipients talked me into pursuing the field and the rest is history! Now I’m in my fourth year and plan on continuing my business into retirement.
- 8. How do you spend your days off?
- This question makes me laugh because on my days off I’m usually. . . crafting!
- 9. What is your favorite drink?
- I am mostly a water drinker, but I do love certain flavored coffees. Occasionally I will enjoy a glass of sweet wine but I’m not a big drinker, so this is a treat.
- 10. If you could relive this week all over again, what would you do differently?
- I would spend more time with my grandkids. They live in Illinois now but have been in town visiting this week. I miss them so much and love spending time with them!
- Bonus! What would you sing at karaoke night?
- Two Sparrows in a Hurricane by Tanya Tucker
Thanks so much to Deb for giving us a peek into her DIY business! Feeling inspired? Pick up your own Koozie® can coolers and start getting creative. Also, be sure to check out Deb’s creations on Facebook @thebambooboardbydeb. Read on for a step-by-step guide explaining how Deb puts her own creations on Koozie® can coolers.
DIY: How to Put Your Own Artwork on Your
Koozie® Can Cooler
This process consists of using a Cricut® Cutting Machine, Cricut® Easy Press and Cricut® Design Space Software.
Get familiar with your software and following their guidelines. Check YouTube for some helpful videos.
1. Be sure to select “Iron On” vinyl only for this project. There are many different brands to choose from and can be purchased at art stores, hobby shops or online.
2. Using a .svg art file, upload your art into the Cricut® Design Space software. You may need to do some tweaking to your art in the software to make it cut correctly. For example, if you are using a script font, you may need to weld the letters together so it cuts as an entire word and not each letter separately. Cricut® Design Space has an option that you can join for a small monthly fee that give you access to over 90,000 images, project and much more.
3. Once your art is prepared and you’re ready to cut your design out…
Place your vinyl on the cutting mat according to color. Line the vinyl up on the mat according to the grid on the Cricut® Design Space screen.
4. Marry up your Cricut® machine with your computer. If you have wording, you need to flip the wording so that it appears backwards.
5. Cut the vinyl following Cricut® Design Space guidelines.
6. Once your vinyl is cut, remove the mat from your Cricut® machine and start “weeding” the vinyl. This means you’re going to remove all the “negative” vinyl. For example, all the outside edge, inside letters, shapes, etc. You’ll be left with the vinyl you want to adhere to you Koozie® can cooler.
7. Once you have all the weeding done, it is now time to iron the vinyl onto your Koozie® can cooler. I use the Cricut® Easy Press, setting it on 350 degrees for 30 seconds. This seems to be the perfect setting for the Koozie® can coolers.
8. Lay your weeded image on top of your Koozie® can cooler with the clear plastic on top so that the vinyl is now touching the Koozie® can cooler. I lay a piece of Teflon (or you can use parchment paper) over the top of the vinyl and then iron it. Place the heated Cricut® Easy Press on top of the Koozie® can cooler for 30 seconds at 350 degrees. Remove the Easy Press and peel the clear plastic off of the vinyl while still warm.
Viola! Your image is now permanently adhered to your Koozie® can cooler. Now it’s time to enjoy a cold one and show off your new Koozie® can cooler!
Make them for baby showers, wedding showers, open houses, family reunions…the list is endless. Have fun!