Tag Archive: diy


Christmas isn’t allowed to be over yet. I am hanging on to the holiday season for at least a few more days. Not taking down my decorations, exchanging a few last presents, and continuing to write blog posts about the holidays. Everyone will just have to deal, because I am sad that Christmas is another year away again, and it’s all cold and I have a cold too. Haha.

Anyway, I wanted to share my gingerbread house. I made it from a kit, but it’s a twist on the standard design, and I had a lot of fun decorating it one night. It turned out so cute that I have yet to eat it, but it will probably be stale once I try it anyway.

Gingerbread House

Along similar lines, I made cinnamon ornaments. A friend in high school (10 years ago!) gave me one she’d made, and I loved it and still have it, and it still smells great. So I wanted to do something similar.

The formula is basically:

  • 1 cup cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup applesauce

And I added some ground cloves and a bit of glue as well to help keep them together and for a bit of a mix of scents. Then mix and knead the dough for a while. Roll out about 1/3 of the dough at a time and use holiday shaped cookie cutters to cut out the shapes and put them onto a cookie sheet. I added the scraps from each batch to the next round of dough to get as many as possible out of it. I didn’t have any drinking straws to make holes, so I just used toothpicks to hollow out spots, which worked pretty well.

Cinnamon Ornaments

I put them in a 170 degree oven for a few hours, but some started to crack and warp, so most of the time they just air dried in my kitchen. It took about 2-3 days for them to fully dry and harden. And finally, I added ribbon to make them ornamental.

Cinnamon Ornaments

I attached most of them as accessories to gifts, kept a couple, and brought in a few for my coworkers in the office on Christmas Eve.

Advertisements

Holiday Greeting Card Wreath

Everyone likes to display all the lovely Christmas cards they get during the season, but what do you do once Christmas is over? Put them in a box somewhere? Throw them out?

Why not make them into a wreath to be displayed the next year?

Holiday Greeting Card Wreath

I love Christmas cards, so I decided to upcycle them into a fun wreath. All you really need is the cards, a flat wreath form, and a glue stick. I found this 12″ wreath at Michael’s for $2 – you could also cut cardboard into a circle, but I decided to go the simpler route.

You’ll also need to find some round objects of varying sizes to trace circles around. I used a reindeer coaster, snowflake glass, and a large glue stick for the little circles.

It’s best to pick a theme of colors. My cards definitely weren’t all uniform or anything, but I went with a blue/white theme with accents of red and green, so it wouldn’t all clash.

Greeting Card Wreath Supplies

Then just start tracing and cutting.

Cutting Circles out of Cards

Arrange your circles in the pattern you want them, then glue them on a section at a time.

Gluing on Circles

Finally, add a ribbon for hanging.

Holiday Greeting Card Wreath

I have been playing with the idea of upcycling other cards, too, like birthdays. You could make other forms of art, not just wreaths. I’ll let you know if I make any more upcycled card crafts. 🙂

Word Search Wrapped Presents

This is how I wrapped most of my presents this year:

IMG_1583

The idea came from a random picture online without a source – it had larger paper that would wrap the whole present. Possibly there is somewhere you can buy custom wrapping paper like that. But I decided to go with the more practical and economical way of making my own word search, wrapping the presents in the standard brown paper (instead of covering up a lovely design on more expensive wrapping paper) and just putting the one piece of paper with the word search on top.

Word Search Wrapped Presents

I made my own word search using the names of all the people I was giving presents to using this one on Armored Penguin, printed it out and cut around just the word search, taped it on, and circled in red the name of the person or people whose gift it was.

It’s a fun idea for people who like words and putting a twist on tradition. 🙂

IMG_1590

Every year, my office has at least one holiday contest for our Christmas Pitch-in and party. Since I’ve been here, we’ve done desk decorations, ornaments, and ugly sweaters.

Computer Part Ornament

My entry for last year’s computer-themed ornament contest

This year, there’s a challenge to make your own ornament with a superhero theme. I won a cake boss contest a couple of months ago with a s’mores cake (I’ll post about that at some point!), but I have tried and failed several times to win a holiday contest. This year, I am trying again!

The person who won last year had an ornament that could light up, which seemed to wow everyone. So I figured that was the key. The nerdy boyfriend of mine came up with the idea of Green Lantern so it would make sense for it to light up, and I liked the idea and ran with it. Even if I haven’t yet seen the movie. It even fits with holiday colors!

Here’s how I made it:

  • plain plastic/glass ornament
  • mini LED lights with battery pack
  • AA batteries
  • green tissue paper
  • mod podge
  • foam brush
  • Green Lantern logo

First, I checked to make sure the lights worked (I learned the hard way that you should do this from putting lights on our office tree only to find out the whole strand was out!) Then, I stuffed the little lights into the ornament one by one.

IMG_1585

Next, I tore up the tissue paper into small pieces. I glued it on by brushing the mod podge only on the spot where I wanted to put a piece, placing it there, and continuing to the next spot until the ornament was covered.

IMG_1586

IMG_1587

IMG_1589

Then I printed out the Green Lantern logo, cut right around it, and mod podged that on, too. I picked an exact spot with a light so the lantern would light up. Finally, I added a ribbon to hang it up, and it was done! The lights blink, too, which is super fun!

IMG_20121207_132858

I didn’t have a lot of competition, but I did win the contest. 🙂

Movable Mini Mummies

I loved this idea from Camilla Fabbri for movable mini mummies and thought they were so cute that I wanted to make one. It was tough tracking down the supplies, but this weekend I ended up making two.

Poseable Mini Mummy

What I used:

  • muslin (a type of fabric – ordered a scrap from ebay)
  • flexible plant tie wire (found this at Lowe’s)
  • wire clippers (the boyfriend had these, which was handy)

Wire Clippers, Muslin, and Flexible WIre

First, I shaped the wire into a person-like frame. If you can find thicker wire or wire covered in more rubber/plastic, I recommend using that, but I had to work with what I could find. I just ended up with a skinner mummy. (Also, I ended up giving my mummy more of a torso after I took the below picture, but you get the idea.)

Shaping WIre Mummy

Then, I cut my muslin into strips about half an inch wide (in some spots more and others less). I started out cutting a little ways and then ripped the rest of the strip to speed up the process, as Camilla suggested. With those I began to wrap my mummy, tying the strips’ together as I went and trimming off the ends.

Wrapping Mini Mummy

The wrapping process was kind of trial and error for me. I learned that the tighter you go, the better, and if I ended up with wider strips I cut them down more so they could better wrap the small frame. When I was done, I just dabbed on some hot glue to finish it off (but you could use another strong glue) and dabbed some more hot glue in spots that looked looser.

My finished mummy is very charismatic and was ready for a photo shoot.

Poseable Mini Mummy

He can do all kinds of yoga poses.

Mini Mummy Yoga Pose

I also made a tall, dark, and handsome chummy mummy friend for him.

Poseable Mini Mummy Buddles

Their names are Yummy Mummy and Mummy’s the Word.

Poseable Mini Mummy

I brought them to work, and I think I’m going to give one to a friend once she gets back from vacation. Here’s Mummy’s the Word hanging out at my cubicle.

I’ve gotten multiple comments that they look like they’re made out of medical or masking tape, but nope – they’re real fabric. Dummy mummies. 🙂

Tea Variety Wreath

Tea! My friend Aryn loves it even more than I do. And I saw this great idea by kojo designs to make a tea wreath for your kitchen, allowing you and your guests to see all at once all the different kinds of tea you have. I pretty much had to make this for Aryn for her birthday.

Tea Kitchen Wreath

I used:

  • about 12×12 in. of cardboard (for mine it was a cardboard amazon package)
  • scissors
  • enough clothespins to cover it
  • various kinds of decorative paper (I used 3 sheets of one kind to cover the wreath and about half a sheet of two other designs for the clothespins)
  • tape
  • hot glue
  • glue stick
  • tea

First, I cut my cardboard into a roundish shape that measured fairly evenly across, then used a bowl to trace a circle for the middle and cut that out as well. Then I taped some decorative paper over that. The back looks rather messy with various paper taped all over it, but that doesn’t particularly matter since you will be hanging it to only show the front.Covered Tea Wreath

Next, take a different design of decorative paper and measure it to be about the same width as the clothespins, then cut them into strips.Measuring Paper for Clothespins

Then, glue the strips onto your clothespins with your glue stick. I cut the strips to be slightly longer, glued them on and let them dry, and then finally trimmed them to the edge of the clip to be more precise.Gluing paper to clothespins

Use hot glue to attach the clothespins to the wheel. I arranged mine how I wanted them before starting to glue.Tea Wreath with Clothespins

Another thing I’ve realized with hot glue is that you often don’t need very much. I started out doing a line of hot glue on each one, but soon found that just 3 small dabs on each clothespin make them stick great.Tea variety wheel

Finally, hot glue on a ribbon, attach your tea, and hang it up to display your goodies. I added a bunch of tea I had, but left space for Aryn to add hers too.

Tea Variety Kitchen Wreath

And now I shall leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Mary Poppins.

Mr. Dawes Jr.: In seventeen hundred and seventy-three, an official of this bank unwisely loaned a large
sum of money to finance a shipment of tea to the American Colonies… Do you know what happened?

Mr. Banks:  Yes sir, yes I think I do.  As the ship lay in Boston harbor, a party of colonists,
dressed as red Indians, boarded the vessel, behaved rudely, and threw all the tea overboard.  This
made the tea unsuitable for drinking – – even for Americans!

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

I’ve already been buying/making/planning for Christmas gifts for a month or two now. My grandparents love anything with photos of their grandchildren, so when I saw an idea for photo coasters from Lee Lala, I thought it was perfect. I ended up combining it with ideas from two girls being crafty, as well. And heck, everyone else in the craft blog community is doing it, so why shouldn’t I? (Just don’t tell my grandparents until Christmas!)

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

My supplies were:

  • Digital pictures edited to black and white
  • White tissue paper
  • Ceramic or sandstone tiles (I couldn’t find sandstone even though I liked that idea, so I got some super cheap ceramic tiles from Home Depot that were like 10-20 cents apiece)
  • Printer (Many tutorials say to only use a laser printer, but I used an inkjet and just made sure to print in black ink/grayscale ONLY, not the color combination that creates black, so that the colors wouldn’t get all weird.)
  • Mod Podge and foam brush
  • Spray sealant
  • Black felt
  • Hot glue
  • O Magazine (or other easy-cleanup work surface… I had this free copy from years ago to use 🙂 )

The first two steps using the tissue paper are the hardest, because tissue paper is so fragile. First, I printed out each photo on tissue paper in a size to match my 4″ish by 4″ish inch tile. It had to be carefully taped to a sheet of cardstock so it wouldn’t get all bunched up in the printer.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Next, I applied a thin layer of mod podge with the foam brush and quickly but carefully placed the photo on top. There will be wrinkles, as is the nature of tissue paper, but do your best to smooth them out very carefully so the paper doesn’t tear. The wrinkles aren’t as obvious once the coasters are done, but they still help give the photos a worn, unique look.

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

Then, apply a thin layer of mod podge on top

Tissue Paper Photo Coasters

And let dry for at least fifteen minutes, then add another coat. Wait an hour or two more, and add a coat of spray sealant to help make them waterproof.

Sealing Photo Coasters

Once that dries after a few hours, the main part of the coaster done, so you just need to glue on the felt.

I measured the tiles (since they aren’t exactly 4×4) and cut the felt to the same size, one piece for each coaster.

Measuring Felt

Then, I placed hot glue on each coaster, one side at a time, and stuck on the felt before it dried.

Gluing Felt to CoastersGluing Felt Onto Photo Coasters

Add some ribbon, and you have cute personalized coasters!

Cute Black and White Photo Coasters

For an easier version, you could just use regular paper or photo paper since it doesn’t wrinkle, or just use scrapbook paper for cute ones if you don’t want to put your glass on someone’s face. I know a lot of people have done this, and for some reason I decided to go with the harder-to-work-with tissue paper. But these coasters have character. 😉

Dishwasher Clean/Dirty Sign

I know I’ve been away for a while – I tend to get into something like crafting for a while and then turn my attention to something else (like games or tv or traveling), and come back to it later. But I have some new stuff to show you guys!

Ever have problems telling whether the dishes are dirty or clean? The boyfriend and I sometimes have trouble coordinating the dishes, especially since he washes them before putting them in the dishwasher. So when I saw this cute tutorial on making a sign for your dishwasher, I thought it was a great idea.

First, I tried the method in the tutorial – saved cottage cheese lids, printed out the awesome printable the original poster made onto cardstock, cut them out and got the rest of my supplies together.

Image

I glued the magnet on the backside of one lid and the lids to each other with hot glue.

Image

However, when I tried to put it on the dishwasher, my magnet wasn’t strong enough, and it kept falling off. So, I gave up on that altogether and just ended up Elmer’s gluing the clean/dirty pieces of cardstock together with the magnet between them, and it worked.

If you have a stronger magnet than me, feel free to try the lid method, since that would be a more durable sign. But hey, sometimes you just have to use trial-and-error and work with what you have. 🙂

Crafty Pinterest Roundup

My recent weekend trips and current addiction to The Sims 3 means less crafting lately. So here are some random DIY projects (mostly found through Pinterest) that I am not planning on doing, but I think they’re great ideas. Someone else should make them. 🙂

Design Chipped Into a Dresser

As much as I like making things, I know I couldn’t pull this off, but I think it looks pretty cool. This person just took a worn, painted dresser and chipped out this scene onto it. Lovely!

Night Bike

This both looks awesome and would be practical, but I don’t ride my bike enough at night to justify all the materials and steps involved.

Peep Topiary

An adorable spring decoration, but if this was near me I’d probably just want to eat it.

Ruffly Scarf

I don’t sew (possibly an area to venture to in the future, but I’m not currently that ambitious and I’ll stick to knitting), but if you do, this might be a fun project to try.

Lego Costume

I couldn’t find the original source for this, but it’s a really cute idea. I’m sure you could make one for adults, too.

And here are a couple Christmas In July goodies. I love Christmas.

Shotgun Shell Wreath

Even my gun-loving boyfriend would approve of one of these, but shotgun shells are just too expensive to use on a wreath.

Wine Bottle Christmas Tree

I may be enough of a wine-o to do this, but I’m not enough of a hoarder!

Wine Bottle Advent Calendar

I know the original picture wasn’t for an advent calendar, but someone pinned this as an idea for an Advent Calendar. A bottle of wine every day? Sounds like a great holiday season to me!