I finally did it guys! I finally have a new mousepad. I’ve needed a new mousepad for the longest time and it’s one of those things that I didn’t see as a necessity (I already have a wrist rest and surprisingly, a notebook works rather nicely as a makeshift mousepad 😛 ) and it’s also something that, for me, is SO boring to shop for. Computer accessories = major snoozefest. But what I noticed lately was that I was feeling more and more uninspired by my workspace lately, and being a marketer/writer and creative-type who works mainly from home, that’s not a good thing. I knew I needed to add something colorful and inspiring to my workspace immediately(!) and that’s how the idea for this mousepad was born.
Do you have a type of project or medium that you’ve never tried before but have been wanting to try for a long time? For me, that medium has always been air dry clay. Sure, I’ve done some sculpting when I was younger in school art classes and just last year I took a Japanese pottery class which was so much fun (and surprisingly difficult!), but I haven’t revisited clay for any projects ever since. I’ve had a package of air dry clay sitting on my shelf for months and I am determined to change this!
So yeah, while I have never tried air dry clay before, from what I’ve heard it’s incredibly easy to work with and so convenient since, duh, no baking required! I told myself I would try at least one small project with it so I thought what better time to dive into it than right before Valentine’s Day? Whether you have a significant other or not, if you’re ever going to make something small, cute and handmade, I say now is the time to do it! 🙂
I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, real or costume, and I really only have a few key pieces that I wear on a regular basis which were all gifts to me from my husband. However, every so often I’ll get the urge to wear a colorful bracelet or a cute pendant necklace to change things up and I’ve noticed that I only ever gravitate towards very subtle designs and/or unique details. So for this project, I thought to myself – if I were to give myself a piece of jewelry for Valentine’s day, what would I want it to be? This pink and gold XOXO Pendant Necklace was what I came up with and I have to say, I really love how it turned out! You don’t need any sculpting skills to make it and you can make it any color you like.
Learn how to make this necklace for yourself or your Valentine!:
Materials: 1-2″ ball of air dry clay / small rolling pin / X and O letter cutters / all purpose craft adhesive / acrylic paint / small paint brush / jump rings / necklace chain with clasp / jewelry pliers / embroidery needle (or similar thin pointed object)
1. Roll out your clay until it’s an even thickness, about 1/8 of an inch.
2. Press out 2 X’s and 2 O’s using your X and O letter cutters.
3. Gently remove the excess clay and clean up any rough edges of your letters. You can use your embroidery needle (or similar object, like a toothpick) to help remove the middle of the O’s and to smooth out your letters.
4. With your needle, poke a hole at the top left corner of one of the X’s and at the top right corner of one of your O’s. This is where you will place jump rings to connect your letters to your necklace chain.
This is what you should have so far! Let these letters dry completely. I left mine to dry for 2+ hours, which is much less time than most clay projects simply because these letters are quite small!
5. Once your letters are dry, paint them in the colors that you like.
Set them aside again so the paint can dry.
6. Glue each of your letters together and then let them dry one last time.
7. Using your jewelry pliers (I actually used two, one to hold the jump ring and one to bend it), put jump rings through each of the holes you placed on the X and the O.
8. Add your necklace chain to each end, and then you’re done!
Oh and since this project uses the tiniest bit of clay in your typical package, here’s a quick clay storage tip: Wrap any unused clay that you want to save with saran wrap or plastic wrap and then place that into a ziplock bag. Make sure you press all of the air out of the ziplock before you seal it. I also then roll the bag onto itself and place a rubber band over it. As an extra step, you can also place the ziplock bag into a mason jar (or multiple jars) and close the top.
Now you can use as little or as much of your block of clay that you want and still have a way to keep the rest useable!
After this project I am slightly obsessed with air dry clay and can’t believe I waited so long to use it! Does this inspire you to make your own DIY necklace? What other types of pendants can you think of?
Thanks for stopping by!
I may have said this once (or maybe many) times before but I’m very partial to white decor and I especially have a thing for gold and white together. Whether it’s in furniture, home accessories (like my DIY gold splatter coasters) or fixtures, I think it’s such a beautiful combination that gives a sense of lightness and cleanness, while also giving off a subtle hint of luxury. So when I realized I hadn’t done a canvas art project in a while, which is one of my all time favorite types of projects to do, I knew exactly what color scheme I should go for! And instead of just plain white, I wanted to add a textural element too, which is where the marble comes in. I really love the look of white marble and, in fact, once I have the chance to renovate a home, it’s definitely going to be one of my go-to design elements.
My fondness for marble goes pretty deep, you guys, and I’ll tell you why. When I was about 5 years old, my parents were finally able to upgrade from the small apartment they shared with several other families and bought the house that my siblings and I grew up in. Before we even moved into the house though, there was a kitchen fire that burned nearly the whole first floor of the house, which took out the kitchen, dining room and the half bath that was right off the kitchen. Luckily the house had sufficient fire insurance coverage, so we were able to rebuild everything without much expense of our own. But when my parents rebuilt everything, the tiny and simple half bath turned into a full bathroom that was 3/4 covered with shiny marble tile, and the rest decked out with huge mirrors and gold / brass fixtures. As a kid, I thought it was so fancy! While the marble they chose isn’t the white marble that I love today, I remember thinking, man, you can’t get any cooler (literally!) than marble tiles. I think from then on I always had a thing for marble. 🙂
Anyways, probably the best thing about this DIY is that it’s WAY easier than you could imagine, thanks to an ingenious invention – marble contact paper! And in fact, when I showed my husband this finished project, he thought it was real marble and was seriously puzzled – that’s how amazing this marble contact paper is. Read on to learn how to make your own marble and gold canvas wall art:
2. Using whatever medium of gold paint that you have, paint the taped off portion of your canvas. I had gold spray paint, so I laid a large protective layer of inexpensive newspaper paper underneath before I started and did my painting next to several open windows for ventilation.
4. Take your marble contact paper and lay it over your canvas where you’d like for it to be. Leave about 2 inches extra at the top and cut off from the roll. The great part about using this particular size stretched canvas is that it is the perfect width to use with this contact paper. Also, if you notice any bumps on your contact paper like I have here, don’t worry! You’ll be able to smooth these out when you attach your contact paper to the canvas later on.
6. Next, you’ll attach your contact paper to your canvas, which is a bit tricky if you’re not careful! First, peel back just the top few inches of the contact paper’s adhesive backing and attach the sticky top flap onto your canvas as shown above.
7. Next, flip your canvas over and slowly pull the adhesive backing from underneath as shown here, while smoothing the sticky contact paper onto the canvas as you go along. And finally, finish by pressing the contact paper onto the sides of the canvas (use some tape to make sure it’s extra secure, if you’d like!).
And now you’re done!
I love love love how this turned out and it happens to also be one of the easiest canvas art projects I’ve done to date! I think it would compliment many different home decor settings and in different corners of the house, which is always a lovely bonus 🙂
What do you think of marble and gold together? Can you think of other ways to use this amazing marble contact paper?
Thanks for stopping by!
We are officially less than 48 hours away from Christmas morning and to be honest, I’m so unprepared! Okay, not toootally, but I definitely have a pile of presents still needing to get wrapped and a few last minute gift cards and a bottle of wine to pick up before we go to our first (of several) family Christmas gatherings tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to do my best to try and relax though, because at least I’ve got all the important presents covered, and what’s the point of the holidays if you feel stressed the entire way? For me, all it takes is some comfy pajamas, a good Christmas playlist, and positive attitude. 🙂
But before I head off, I wanted to share a quick little project that would be really cute to dress up your mantle or your Christmas dining table. As you guys might already know from my last Christmas tree DIY, I’m a big fan of unique and alternative holiday decorations. So this ruffled crepe paper Christmas tree is right up my alley in that sense… and it’s PINK! Whoever thought pink wasn’t a Christmas color, think again my friend!
Another great thing about this cute little ruffled tree is that it only requires a few inexpensive paper materials from the craft store and stuff you already have. Cute, bright and inexpensive are definitely my favorite adjectives when it comes to DIYs.
Learn how to make this tree below!:
1. Take one sheet of card stock and fold it in half lengthwise.
2. With the fold on your left, draw a line from the top left to the bottom right of the card stock.
3. Cut along the line. You now have one tree cutout.
4. Repeat these first three steps one more time so that you end up with two tree cutouts that look like this:
The next steps will be creating your ruffle pieces by gluing strips of crepe paper to your cutouts.
5. Starting with your lightest shade and at the bottom of your tree cutout, glue down strips of crepe paper to your tree cutout, making sure that the paper strips cover all of the card stock and hang over the edge a bit. For my trees, I did 5 strips of the lightest shade of pink, 8 strips of the middle shade, and 13 strips of the darkest shade (bottom to top).
6. Let it dry.
7. After covering one whole side with your crepe ruffles, flip your tree cutout over and trim off the excess paper but leaving about a half an inch overhang.
You should end up with something like this:
Do this to both sides of your two tree cutouts. Once everything is dry you can move on to assembling your tree!
8. Lightly fold one tree cutout in half so you can find the center. Cut from the bottom and up the center of the cutout, stopping halfway.
9. Take your other tree cutout and again, lightly fold in half to find the center. This time, cut from the top and down the center of the cutout, stopping halfway.
10. Place your cutout together by sliding your first tree cutout over and onto the second, so that they nest into each other.
11. Run your hand along all sides of your tree to ruffle up the ruffles and give them volume. And finally, use tape to secure the tree and help it stand up.
And now you’re done!
I added a little star to my tree that I cut out of some leftover gold glitter paper from this DIY silver and gold holiday wreath.
The great thing about this tree is that it’s small enough to fit in with other tabletop or Christmas mantle decor that you have, but it’s also bold and interesting enough to create a statement! I love that it’s a bit feminine and unexpected.
What do you think of a hot pink tree? Would you make something like this for your Christmas decor?
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!
Hi guys! I just came back from a little tropical getaway with Dave and I’m frantically trying to get back into the swing of things before all the crazy Christmas activities start kicking in, so I thought today would be a great day to introduce something really special that I’m so glad to have discovered this year – We Make Collective.
We Make Collective is a bi-monthly creative materials kit created by an incredibly talented and creative lady Fran (who also blogs over at Fall for DIY) and it’s this beautifully smart way to get crafty and creative no matter who you are or what level of creativity you think you have. We Make Collective is premised on the idea that we all have the ability to be creative, because, as even the website says, “creativity is something we practice and learn…not something we’re gifted with.” – and I absolutely agree! Even if being creative is not your “thing”, spending time on a creative project every now and then can be so fun and satisfying for the mind and soul.
Every kit is different, focusing on a different creative medium, and with every kit you get access to an online members area where you find lots of clear, easy to follow projects and tutorials on how to use the materials in your kit.
Earlier this year I had the awesome privilege to join as a We Make Collective contributor for their second kit – the calligraphy kit. I’ve dabbled in calligraphy and handwriting here and there as an extension of drawing but I hadn’t done many projects with it, so it was a real treat to work with the calligraphy kit materials to develop something unique and different than anything I had ever made before.
I’m so proud of how my project turned out and am so happy that it’s helping to guide and inspire We Make Collective makers. If you were able to snag a December kit, you can access my full tutorial up on the We Make Collective members area along with all of the other amazing contributor tutorials (some seriously amazing projects!) to give you some ideas for things to make with your kit.
If you didn’t get this kit or are just learning about the Collective now, don’t worry! The next kit looks like its going to be a really good one. The February kit will focus on Natural Dying, Shibori and Batik, which is another medium I am dying to try out and am so glad that I’ll be able to get some inspiration (and instruction) about from the kit. This would make a great gift for that creative person in your life or as a little present to yourself for a more creative new year! We Make Collective is relatively new, which means there are SO many different types of mediums it has yet to explore. You can learn more about the collective and how to subscribe here.
What do you think about We Make Collective Kits? Are you going to sign up?
Thanks for stopping by!
Whether it’s a freshly cut tree from the local tree farm or a beautiful assembled one that you can re-use year-to-year, I think we can all agree that your home just isn’t Christmas-ready until you have a tree. And while nothing’s more quintessentially Christmas than a perfectly trimmed real tree in your living room, decorating with something so large and disposable just isn’t feasible or desirable for some of us (me included).
I’m here today to share a nice little solution – this modern DIY Lighted Canvas Christmas Tree. This tree is perfect for anyone who either doesn’t have access to a real Christmas tree, is limited on space, or just loves the idea of a unique, minimalistic Christmas tree that still lights up and that you can still put your presents under!
In my family household growing up, we put up and decorated the same plastic Christmas tree every year that we pulled out of storage and we loved it. I mean, my parents didn’t grow up here and so they had never had an “American” Christmas in their youths, so for me and my siblings, Christmases were a result of my parents doing their best with what they had and just learning as they went along. I like to think that’s why I like thinking outside of the box with Christmas decorations now. And maaaaybe that’s also why this is the only “tree” currently to be seen in our place with <10 days til the big day! 🙂 (hey, it’s also because we’re extra limited on space this year!)
Anyways, learn how to make this minimalist lighted canvas christmas tree below!
- Spray your canvas with 1-2 coats of paint, until it reaches the coverage you like.
2. Let it dry completely.
First, you’ll work on the outline of your tree.
3. Using your T-square and pencil, find the middle of your canvas and draw a small, straight mark of where you’d like the base of your tree to be. Then, move your T-square to the top of your canvas (making sure it stays in line with the mark you just made on the base) and mark off where you’d like the top of your tree to be.
4. Place your T-square about 6-8 inches above where you marked off the base, and lightly mark off how wide you’d like the bottom of your tree to be with one mark on the left side and one on the right. Don’t worry too much about how high or low you make these marks, but just be sure to choose a width you like.
5. Starting from the two marks you just made, draw straight lines up to the mark you made for the top of the tree to complete your tree outline. Step back and make sure you like the shape of your tree before you move forward!
6. Take your gold thumbtacks and begin filling in your tree trunk. I did this freehand, but you can use your T-square as guide to make sure you’re filling them in straight. I found that a row of eight thumbtacks across was the perfect tree trunk width for this size canvas.
7. Make your tree trunk as tall as you’d like – mine was ten rows tall.
8. Lay your T-square across the top of your thumbtack covered tree trunk. Using the marks you made in Step 4 as a guide, push in a gold thumbtack on each side of your tree outline.
9. Fill the space between the two thumbtacks you just placed with a straight line of thumbtacks.
You can now see the bottom of your tree!
10. Using your T-square, draw a diagonal line up from the bottom right corner of your tree to the left about 12” up, stopping at the left outline of your tree.
11. Fill in that line with thumbtacks and repeat three more times up the whole tree in a zigzag pattern.
You end up with something like this:
Next step is adding lights!
12. First, unwind your string lights. You can turn your lights on or keep them off throughout the next few steps. I alternated back and forth as I went along to help me envision how it would look lit up.
13. Using your exacto knife, cut a small slit at the bottom left corner of your tree and thread your string lights under and out through this hole.
14. Pull the string across your tree towards the right, up to where you want the next corner to be.
15. Continue to “hang” your lights on your tree by:
Making two small slits about half an inch apart near the outline of your tree (where you want your string your lights to hang). Thread the string lights down into the first slit, and then thread back up and out of the canvas through the second slit.
Repeat this technique all the way up the tree and around the entire outline of the tree. Secure any access string lights (plus the battery pack) to the back of your canvas and then you’re done!
You can lean your canvas tree against the wall like I did here or you can hang it up. It would go great with my DIY origami paper star garland seen here! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
I love a good holiday-appropriate garland and I also have a huge appreciation for paper crafts and origami (check out my origami gift box DIY!), so this season I went along with that idea and made this adorable silver and gold origami paper star garland. The bigger stars you see here are actually made of leftover wrapping paper!
I’m not one for your super traditional red and green christmas decor, so this light, modern and semi-monochromatic color scheme is right up my alley and makes me so happy for the holidays. See my full tutorial over at Curbly!
I’m taking a super quick break from Christmasy posts to share my current favorite easy green smoothie recipe. Now it might seem random to be sharing a green smoothie today, right in the middle of the indulgent holiday season, but Dave and I are going on a last-minute tropical getaway in less than 2 weeks(!) so I am trying to be as healthy has possible in the next week so that I don’t have to, I don’t know, CRY when I put on a bikini! 😛
Anyways, I’ve tried literally dozens of different variations of green juices and green smoothies and I’ve discovered that I much prefer the thicker, creamier consistency of smoothies over juices. It just feels more fulfilling, goes down easier, and all you need is to add a frozen banana to your mixture for that creamy element without adding fat. And while I did add more than just a banana for this recipe to make my smoothie extra creamy (greek yogurt and almond milk), I will say this smoothie for me has the perfect balance in taste and nutrition. Between the banana, greek yogurt, apple, spinach, and lemon, there are so many antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory agents in this green smoothie and just the perfect amount of subtle sweetness, that you’ll be in a good mood and off the walls with energy for the rest of the day!
-Handful of spinach
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice
-1 small apple (I used a gala apple), peeled and cored
-1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
-1 tablespoon of honey
-1-2 tablespoons of greek yogurt
-3/4 cup almond milk
Like most smoothies, all the work is in the prep. So once you have all of your ingredients ready, just toss in your spinach first (so they’re close to the blades), yogurt, apple, and banana. Then top everything with your honey, lemon juice, and milk, and blend until smooth! Take a sip and adjust to your liking.
What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe? I’m gonna stay pretty loyal to this one, but I’m always interested in learning new variations!
Thanks for stopping by!
I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe that it’s already December. Where did 2015 go?? So much has happened this year on a personal and professional level for me and while it’s bittersweet to reach the end of anything, I’m so very excited for the new year and what it has in store. There’s a whole month left of 2015, and I’ll be darned if it doesn’t go out with a bang! 🙂
I will say though, that despite my love of celebrations – I actually haven’t always been a huge holiday decorator over the years. If I had to explain why, it’s probably because practically speaking, decorating means that you tend to have a lot of seasonal items in storage and that goes against my life manifesto to not accumulate too many “things”. But, now that I am getting older and realize how important my surroundings are to my mood, my stance on holiday decorating is really starting to shift. And of course, now that I have this little bloggy space to share my crafts and creative projects, all the more incentive to go all-in on Christmas cheer! 🙂
So to kick off the Christmas craze over here, I’m starting by sharing this easy glitter paper holiday wreath you can make with just a few items you can get from any craft store (paper and wreath ring) and some things you already have (scissors, tape, ribbon)!
- Start by cutting out leaf shapes from your gold and silver glitter paper. Aim for your leaves to be around 2 to 3 inches long by 1.5 to 2 inches wide, but feel free to vary the shapes so that they’re organic, like actual leaves would be!
- Once you’ve made about 20-30 leaves of each color, take a couple of leaves and place on your styrofoam wreath. Use tape to temporarily secure the leaves before you glue them down, so that you can take your time arranging your leaves.
- After taping down 2-4 leaves to your wreath, place a dab of glue with your glue gun under every other leaf to permanently secure them. You can glue every leaf at this point if you’d like, but gluing every other leaf at the beginning saves you a bit of glue and also allows you to adjust your leaves as you go along.
- Alternating randomly between gold and silver leaves, continue to place, tape, and glue your leaves all the way around your wreath, but leaving about 2-3 inches empty at the base where you’ll tie your ribbon later. Go back and add glue anywhere that is loose or needs adjustment.
- To ensure there’s no white styrofoam showing through at the base of the wreath, glue down two leaves in the empty space. Then, gently tie your ribbon into a bow over this section.
Cutting out freeform leaves can be quite therapeutic. Put on some of your favorite music, pour yourself a glass of wine and get crafty!
Be warned; working with glitter paper will get some on your clothes and hands – but that’s part of the fun!
Experiment with your leaf placement. You can aim to have them line up uniformly or, instead, lay them in a random arrangement.
Remember to take breaks to step back and view the wreath from a distance. The big picture usually looks slightly different than way up close!
I used a sheer gold ribbon, but you can also use a ribbon of a contrasting color for a bolder visual statement.
And now you’re done!
Once finished, you can hang it proudly over a mantel, interior door, or even lean it against the wall on a shelf or bookcase. This wreath adds a subtle, sparkly accent wherever you put it and it costs less to make than most wreaths you could buy at the store (that aren’t as pretty!).
What are some of your favorite holiday decor pieces? Are you doing anything different this year?
Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Friday everyone!
I’m back here today with office, and LIFE, organization on my mind. Thanks to my inspiring instagram feed, this Kickstarter that I stumbled upon, and various blogs I’ve been perusing – like my friend Fran from Fall for DIY’s series on picking the perfect planner – all I’ve been thinking about lately is how to simplify my workspace and add more organization to my life, especially now that 2015 is almost over and the new year is almost here (WHAT??). I’m a super visual person, and I like handwriting notes and lists, drawing out my workflow, and making preliminary sketches of virtually anything that can be sketched, so one thing I’ve specifically been wanting to do is make some sort of office organizer / inspiration board contraption that could help me wrangle in all these post-its and mini notepad papers strewn about my desk!
What I came up with is literally a cross between a chalkboard wall and a corkboard wall organizer, with a little modern element (in the way of gold trim) to add something extra. What I love about this is that if for some reason I wanted to wipe the slate clean, this wall organizer would look just as cute on the wall empty as it would filled with my brainstorming notes (and grocery lists 🙂 ). The corkboard base I chose here is only one square foot, which is all I need for now, but I can totally see making a few more of these in contrasting colors could be an awesome statement piece on a bigger office wall area – don’t you think?
Learn how to make it below!
12″ x 12″ corkboard square / chalkboard paint / acrylic paint color of your choice (I chose light portrait pink) / painter’s tape / paint brush / ruler / gold paper fasteners
1. Start by carefully taping off one half of your corkboard diagonally with your painter’s tape.
2. Using your paint color of choice and your paint brush, paint in one half of your corkboard square. Let dry and then remove the tape.
3. When the paint is completely dry, place tape again diagonally across your square along with some protective paper to cover the painted half.
4. Using your chalkboard paint, spray paint the second half of your square with several coats of chalkboard paint until you reach the amount of coverage you like. I painted mine 3 times. (*Remember to only spray paint in a well ventilated area and use protective paper or another type of coverage on and around your painting surface so you can prevent stains!) Once done, let it dry completely and then remove the tape.
At this point you’ll have yourself a nice two-tone chalkboard and corkboard organizer! If you like how this looks you can go ahead and keep it this way and organize to your heart’s content! Or, you can go ahead and add the gold trim like I did!
5. Using your ruler, measure about 1/2 inch in from one corner and place your gold fastener at this point at a placeholder. You can use the pointy end of the fastener to make an indent / marking where you want to place it (you could also use a pen or pencil to make these marks if you want). Do this again on the opposite side.
6. Now that you’ve marked out the two end fasteners of your row, place down the rest of the fasteners evenly on this row between them. I chose to use 5 fasteners on each side of my corkboard square, but you can use as many as you’d like.
7. After you’ve marked out where you want your fasteners to go and they look evenly placed, you can go ahead and poke each fastener through your corkboard square, bending the two prongs on the back of each fastener outwards so they are nice and tightly secured.
8. Finish by repeating Steps 5-7 on the remaining 3 sides of your corkboard square.
You can hang your organizer using removable adhesive squares, or you could also tie a string to the prongs of the gold fasteners on the back of the corkboard and hang the entire thing on a single nail or hook.
Even though cork is not your usual surface to have a chalkboard, it works just as well as any other chalkboard I’ve ever tried! To clean, just gently dab with a lightly dampened rag or towel.
What are some ways you stay organized in your workspace?
Thanks for stopping by!