Category Archives: DIY

DIY Abstract Watercolor and Gold Painted Mousepad

February 11, 2016

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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 :P ) 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.

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DIY XOXO Clay Pendant Necklace

January 27, 2016

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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! :)

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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!:

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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)

Directions:

1. Roll out your clay until it’s an even thickness, about 1/8 of an inch.

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2. Press out 2 X’s and 2 O’s using your X and O letter cutters.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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5. Once your letters are dry, paint them in the colors that you like.

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Set them aside again so the paint can dry.

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6. Glue each of your letters together and then let them dry one last time.

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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.

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8. Add your necklace chain to each end, and then you’re done!

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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!

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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!

DIY Marble and Gold Canvas Wall Art

January 12, 2016

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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.

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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:

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Materials:
16″ x 20″ stretched canvas / marble contact paper / gold paint / ruler or T-square / painter’s tape / scissors or exacto knife / pencil

Directions:

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1. Tape off a portion of your canvas where you’d like the gold portion to be. I measured mine to be about 1/3 to 1/4 of the canvas.

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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.

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3. Let it dry completely and then remove the tape.

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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.

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5. Flip your canvas face down onto the contact paper and adjust to where it should be laying. Using your ruler and pencil, mark off and cut a small rectangle from each of the top corners.

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The reason you want to do this is so that when you adhere the contact paper to your canvas, it’ll be easier to do and you won’t have excess paper at the corners to cause bumps or anything.

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Here is what it looks like after you snip off the two rectangles.

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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.

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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!
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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 :)

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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!

DIY Ombre Ruffled Paper Christmas Tree

December 23, 2015

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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!

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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!:

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Materials:
2 sheets of plain card stock / ruler / pencil / scissors / tape / glue stick / crepe paper streamers in three shades of pink

Directions:
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.

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4. Repeat these first three steps one more time so that you end up with two tree cutouts that look like this:

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The next steps will be creating your ruffle pieces by gluing strips of crepe paper to your cutouts.

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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.

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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.

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You should end up with something like this:

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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.

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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.

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And now you’re done!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

xo,
Linda