Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Dreamcatcher DIY

Dreamcatchers are some of my favorite things ever. I love the idea that they catch all of your negative dreams and protect you. When I was little, we had little worry dolls that hung off our beds for the same purpose. When I got older, I put together a project that was delivered to assisted living homes for residents to put in their windows. We have a little one hanging in our window, but I was looking for something with a little bigger scale.

2014-06-11_0010Once I moved the frame from above our bed to across the room, I needed something to fill the space between the posts…enter the dream catcher.

Here’s the thing; I literally made this whole thing for free, but you can make it for so cheap, it’s not even funny. I started with the outside of an embroidery hoop (leftover from when I made a pendant lamp) & made sure to glue the two pieces together, since I was removing the screw from the center. I then painted the top white, since it would be the only part showing.

2014-06-11_0002Once that had dried, I used some hemp rope I had on hand to start wrapping the hoop.

2014-06-11_0001I secured it to the underside with some hot glue, and made sure that the tail end of it extended past where the wrapping would end.

2014-06-11_0003Once it’s wrapped, you’ll start the weaving. I also used hemp twine for this, although you could use pretty much anything sturdy enough.

2014-06-11_0004Once you tie the first knot, you’ll extend the twine a few inches, wrap it around the hoop, and come back through itself to make that twist. Make sense?

2014-06-11_0006It’s easier with pictures. Once the entire hoop has been wrapped, you’ll start on the next row, as seen above. Make sure that you keep the twine tight!! Otherwise, you’ll have loose string in the middle and it will infuriate you to no end. Not like I know this from experience.

2014-06-11_0005This is what your entire web will look like.

2014-06-11_0008Once I started to get closer to the center, I added some turquoise and red beads. This is a personal preference; you don’t have to add anything at all if you don’t want to!

2014-06-11_0009As for finishing the weaving, just tie a square knot in the center of it all and make sure you put a dab of clear nail polish on it to help hold it.

2014-06-11_0011To hang it, I just threaded a piece of yarn through the holes in the top (where the screw used to be), tied a bow & called it a day. The best part about this whole thing? Embroidery hoops come in all sizes, so you could make a ton of them, or just one. I’m imagining a wall in a kids bedroom covered in various colors and sizes of dream catchers! Wouldn’t that be gorgeous?

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Peony Wreath

(You may notice that there have been a few changes around here! I’ve been tweaking as I go, so if there are any issues that you find, let me know!! You can now access tons of projects up top at the Project Gallery page!)

Spring is seriously overdue. Like…months. I’m resorting to making my own Spring by adding as many bright, flowery things as I can to our house. A few nights ago, I was contemplating getting a new wreath for our front door (yep, I have a wreath problem) & I remembered that I had an old falling apart Christmas magnolia wreath that I hadn’t even used in 2 years. I checked it out & found that the base it was a nice, sturdy grapevine wreath.

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So, I picked all the magnolia leaves out of it and found some oversized peonies laying around. I arranged the flowers a few times before I found something I liked, and then I glued them to the wreath with hot glue, making sure to seat the bases of the flowers snugly within the vines.

IMG_9165It was cute, but still missing a little something, so I made a small pennant banner out of some hemp & gold glitter washi tape. Thank you, Target dollar spot! It’s the perfect amount of Spring to greet us now!

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Eggcelent Wreath

I’m just full of puns today, aren’t I? I apologize for no Monday post! I thought I had worked all the bugs out of posting when away from my computer, but no dice. I’ve got a super cheap Easter decoration for you today (which is perfect if you’re like me and flat out refuse to spend gobs of cash on decorations that will only be up for a few weeks). I actually made it last year, but it needed some touch ups when I pulled it out of storage last week.

IMG_8776This could not be any easier. I took a piece of heavy jute and laid it in a circle. Then I took the eggs and put them inside the circle and adjusted the size to make sure that they all touched. Once I applied some hot glue to the ends to hold them, I just glued on the jute to the back.

IMG_8780Easy, easy. Oh, and then I just made a loop out of the rest of the jute to hang on the door!

IMG_8778It’s not a perfect circle, but it was a $2 craft, so I didn’t put a lot of stock in it holding up well for the second year. So far, so good, though! Oh, and those patterned eggs? I found them at Walmart of all places last year. Crazy, right?

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I’m always on the lookout for something to paint. If you know me, you’re not surprised at all by this statement. It’s also been tundra like here for the past few weeks months, so I’m literally hoarding things to paint until it’s warm enough, and then I do it all at once. The gold frame in our bedroom & this little thing were painted on a day that was in the mid 40’s (so much warmth!), and I’ve already got another little pile going.

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I found this (somewhat creepy looking) bunny for $1 at Savers a few weeks ago, and realized it would look great spray painted a single color. I also have nothing really spring-like in the way of decorations, so I whipped out the gold spray paint and gave it a few coats.

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I really love me some gold, and this is just the ticket on top of my DIY runner (that’s edged with gold sequins, obviously). It’s also reminding me that Spring is coming. Maybe. At some point. But probably not. Also, Whopper Eggs are coming.

That is all.

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Colored Clothespins

I just wrapped up a huuuuuge project that I can’t wait to share with y’all next week! Seriously, it is rocking my socks off. But my back is killing me and I finally picked my house up for the first time in a week last night, so I guess it’s 50/50 on whether I’m just happy that it’s over. I digress.

We’ve chatted about these little clothespins before (used here to hold necklaces onto chicken wire, and here to hold pictures in a frame), and I still love them to death. I have a quick little fun DIY today that will help you jazz them up! A few weeks ago, I was in the Target dollar section and found some super cute clothes pins that had been painted, and thought, “I could do that!”

Fast forward: IMG_6906It couldn’t be easier. I used Behr’s Lipstick, some white acrylic paint, and chunky gold glitter along with a gold Sharpie pen.

IMG_6908I painted, Modge Podged & glittered my little heart out…

IMG_6912And VOILA! Cute little clothespins, just right for hanging whatever small things you have for them! I used these in a fun little project that I keep forgetting to finish (typical), but I can’t wait to show you!

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Antlers on the wall. Yep, you heard me correctly.

Antlers.

On.

The.

Wall.

Not real, obviously for the simple reason that I love Bambi, but I’m sure one day in the future I’ll be trying to figure out how to style a mounted deer head. #newhampshirelife

Until then, I’ll have this piece to act as a placeholder:

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Pretty cute, right? The design is from my photography logo, and the project was super easy to do. I’ve made string art once before and loved the outcome, so I did basically the exact same thing. Same nails, wood stain, twine, and wood.

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For an added pop of color, I painted the edges with Behr’s Lipstick, also seen here in the back of my shoe shelf. It’s almost exactly the same as the color of the heart in the logo, and it adds a fun flair. I can’t believe I now have two things painted sort of pink in our house. Am I becoming more girly? EW.

IMG_5521In order to hang it, I marked out the center of the piece and drilled a large hole (not all the way through) so that a screw head would fit comfortably in it.

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I printed the logo out (pretty big) and then taped it together and figured out where I wanted it on the wood piece. Once that was secured, I started putting the nails in, and when that was done, I started stringing it. More in depth directions can be found here.

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I love it! It’s just the right amount of rustic and fun to add to our walls. And speaking of adding it to our walls, it’s going on a wall that is currently in the process of being made over as we speak. I may or may not have filled the house this week with drills, hammers, and wall caulk. Lots of wall caulk.

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But seriously, string art. Do it.

P.S. Can I just say that due to shenanigans at work, it has taken me literally all day to write this post!?

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Jute Wrapped Tray

I absolutely love trays. They’re my jam. So when I saw Michaela style a gorgeous lucite tray on her dresser, the perpetual lightbulb over my head lit up. I looooove lucite trays. Lovelovelove. I wanted to DIY one out of an acrylic frame, but those suckers are harder to find than a polar bear in California. I looked everywhere. Finally, as I was about to throw my hands up in the air like I just didn’t care I found this tray at TJMaxx.

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Meh. I’ve seen better. But it was really big and really sturdy, and I figured I’d bring it home and style it. If I didn’t like it after a few days, back to the store it was going. Well, a week passed and I was liking the extra space I now had on top of my dresser, but was really hating how much light the black sucked out of the room. I thought about painting it, but wasn’t sure how it would up, and then I remembered that I still had tons of chevron shelf liner leftovers.

2014-01-14_0013So, I stuck the paper on and cut it down. I liked where it was going, but still wasn’t liking the black, so I thought, why not cover it with jute? If I hate it, I can always take it apart and paint it later.

2014-01-14_0014So, I wrapped it in jute (cutting it at the handles), and secured it with hot glue.

2014-01-14_0015I made sure to glue the jute down a lot to ensure that it wouldn’t move around if I decided to use the handles on the tray. Once it was all dried, I put it back on the dresser, and I’m happy to report that the light isn’t sucked out of the corner anymore.

2014-01-20_0001Oh, and remember when I “if you give a mouse a cookie’d” myself? This is the result. The mirror finally got hung on the wall, the dresser got cleared off, and it finally looks a little more streamlined.

2014-01-20_0006Now the tray holds the smaller stuff that used to get pushed around and buried.

2014-01-14_0004The gigantic jar was scooped up at an embarassingly major clearance price after Christmas at TJMaxx (are you seeing a pattern here?). It holds all of my bangles, chunky bracelets, and watches with tons of room to spare. All of my stud earrings are in a small jam jar, and my rings are in a small wooden box from Costa Rica.

2014-01-20_0003Because I was able to find some space on top of the dresser, I was able to put up some pictures. I just adore that picture of my grandfather and I. And the little Bam Bam picture on the right? My parents dressed me up in coyote pelts and put real chicken bones in my hair. #parentingwin

2014-01-14_0001I am so thrilled with how this little project came out! And who knows, it may move around our house like everything else, but for now it’s a great addition to the dresser!

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DIY Bottle Lamp

This all came around because of a bottle of beer (and really, isn’t that how all good stories start?). The Fireman loves Sam Adams beer, and wanted to try their limited edition 13th hour, which came in a big bottle. Once the beer was gone, he liked the bottle and wanted to keep it because “maybe we can make something out of it.” He then mentioned something about asking his brother if he could make a lamp out of it.

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DING DING DING!! My uncle is a freaking genius electrician, so a week before Christmas, I smuggled the bottle out of the house and over to my uncle. Over the next few days, we put it all together. He’d never worked with glass before, so honestly, we had no idea if it would even work…but it did!! I managed to take some photos (with my phone, sorry about the quality), and I’ll try to explain it all!

2013-12-23_0001First, we started with drilling the bottle. He found a special glass drill bit that was 3/8″, and we found some PVC piping to hold the bottle upright (he still held the base while I drilled). It took quite a while to get through the glass, since it was so thick. Every few minutes, I’d stop drilling and he’d wipe away the glass dust and let it all cool off. We were both surprised when the glass didn’t even crack after the bit went through the bottom.

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Some of the components that we used (which he had all on hand): white wire, a lamp kit, wood, and a pipe that the wire runs through. Honestly, I’m sure that there’s a name to it but I have no idea what it is.

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Since the base of the bottle was only a few inches wide, we decided that it should be put on a wooden base to help stabilize it. We found this gorgeous piece of wood in his basement, and it’s from my great grandparent’s farm. It was so thick and sturdy compared to the wood you buy now at Home Depot! Since the exposed edge wasn’t cut straight (and I wanted a rustic look), he gave me his uncles hand saw and let me go to town on it. We ended up with a fairly lopsided square, with some of the loveliest grain I’ve ever seen in a board. Once it was cut, he found the middle and then I drilled another hole through (also 3/8″), so that we could run the wire through the board.

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Since the wire was going to be under the board, it needed a channel cut out. Here’s the thing though: we used another 3/8″ drill bit to drill holes all the way to the end, but then ended up using a combination of a Sawzall and chisel to finish it out. It probably would have been easier to start that way, but you know, live and learn. Once all of the pieces were ready, it was time to assemble it all!

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The tube was put down the neck of the bottle, the wire was threaded up through the bottle and the tube, and the socket was screwed on. At least that was the plan. Fast forward three days to my uncle showing up with the entire lamp constructed “because he got bored.” So yeah, I’m pretty much going off of what he said for the rest of the post.

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So he built the rest of the top with a harp (you can see the little harp arms on the sides), but we ultimately ended up using a shade that sits on the socket. You can see that he found a piece to go between the bottle and the cup holding the socket, which gives it so much more stability. Once that was all screwed on, he threaded the wire down through the bottom of the lamp…

IMG_4896Added a metal screw piece to help hold the bottle in place, then just staple gunned the wire into the channel. Originally, we were planning on gluing the bottle to the wood, but by adding the metal piece to the bottom, he was able to screw the bottle to the wood. There was a slight wobble to it because the wood was mildly warped, but it was solved by tiny pieces of rubber between the bottle and the wood.

IMG_4902You can barely see them, but they’re there. The bottle is completely stable and doesn’t rock at all.

IMG_4908I mean, seriously. How could you not love that? The shade is from Target, and it’s a gray tweed pattern that matches perfectly. Oh, and the socket is a multi watt one, so we have a 100 watt bulb in there and it’s super bright.

And the verdict? The Fireman loved it, and I loved how much more light was added to the living room! I shall call this one a win!

Now tell me, have you ever done this? It was hard for me to find tutorials! Share if you have any secrets!!!

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Poor Man’s Chandelier

Remember back when I posted about bookshelves and mentioned the little spiky blue star that I made out of this tutorial?

IMG_4110Well, it floated around our house for a few months because I didn’t know what to do with it, and I finally decided to hang it in the hallway (kind of like a sad cheap chandelier), so it would add more interest to the corner.

IMG_4393Pretty boring, right? That corner is pretty funky too, since the ceiling drops down about 6 inches when you head into the hallway.

IMG_4400Since the star itself is super lightweight, I only used a small eye hook to hang it with thin string.

IMG_4401See? Easy. It did take me a few times to get the height right, but once it was right I tied it off with a square knot and so far, it’s been great.

2013-11-20_0001So much better, right? I love that it brings a little more interest into the corner.

IMG_4406I’d love to one day make an actual hanging pendant in this shape. I think it would look so gorgeous!

IMG_4409It kind of makes me want to lay in the corner and look up at it all day!! Have you ever done something like this for visual interest in your house? Share!!

Oh, and PS: this is my 400th post! How did that happen!?

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DIY Succulent Pots

When I was little, my parents had close to 10 cacti in our backyard. I mean, it was California. I always thought that they were hideous. Also, my neighbor told me they were fuzzy, so I rubbed one once. Safe to say that my blonde moments started early in life. Fast forward 20 years, and I’m only kind of obsessed with succulents and cacti.

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They are survivable in our house (just disregard the last 3 succulents that I’ve disintegrated), and they remind me of warmer climates, especially when its 12 degrees outside. Succulents don’t appear in stores here until late May, so when we were at Lowe’s in June, I snatched up 6 little guys and gals. There’s nothing I love more than succulents in terra cotta pots, so I got those as well.

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I decided I wanted to spray paint them white and gold, so I taped them up with painters tape and some Walmart bags. Nothing but class over here.

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The rain here has been ridiculous, so between showers I put a few coats on the pots and let them cure for a few days. The humidity is so high right now that I found it advisable to leave them as long as possible before potting.

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Once they were all done, I gathered all my supplies…

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and made a mess.

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The mess was worth it, though!! I love these guys so much.

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They get great light in the kitchen window, so I’m crossing my fingers that they survive!

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Small potted succulents are a great quick gift as well (especially for a housewarming!).

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Pot some of hose succas up!! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself).

PS…I know that this post should have been up yesterday, but we got sent to Boston with a patient. Driving an ambulance through Boston traffic at rush hour is now at the top of my “Things I Never Want to Do Again” list.

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