Bicycle Tube Straps

bike tube strap on case

It always makes me cringe a little when I fix a flat tire on my bike and throw away the tube. I have this feeling that there simply must be something crafty I can do with the tubes. So, I’ve been saving the tubes for a while. So far my favorite thing to do with them is to make straps. They’re great for straps because they’re strong but have a little bit of give so you can make them quite snug. I’ve used them to hold all sorts of things in place, from keeping craft boxes closed to keeping the brake cable from rattling on my bike. Start by cutting off the valve. Then cut along a seam for the length of the tube so that it opens flat. Then measure how long you want the strap to be. Remember that the strap will hold tightest if it’s stretched a …

Mason Jar Memories

mason jar memories 2

When I’m traveling, I like to stick little things that remind me of the trip in my pocket. A shell from the beach. A dried leaf from the forest. A candy wrapper in a fruit flavor I’ve never heard of. I used to stick these sorts of things in with my photo albums, but nowadays I make digital scrapbooks so I don’t really have a home for the little physical remembrances. Enter the Mason Jar Memory Jar, an idea inspired by a project from Martha Stewart. Mason jars can hold a surprisingly large collection of little bits and bobs, and when packed in, like this jar from my time in East Africa, it becomes like a game of I Spy. I have beads from a necklace a Maasai woman made for me and animal teeth I scrounged from the dust in the savannah. As I look through the jar, I …

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Corks and Chalk Message Board Tutorial

cork and chalk message board

I like things to be organized, and what better way to organize than in a fun, pretty, and DIY manner! I originally made this cork and chalk message board for my cousin – since she got married in a vineyard I themed her wedding gifts around cork. But I definitely have plans to replicate it for myself since I love the way it turned out! To make the cork and chalk message board, you need: cutting board TSP (use a phosphate free version as it’s better for the environment) primer paint paintbrush non-sanded grout (to make the paint into chalkboard) painter’s tape hot glue gun corks supplies for hanging picture wire (discussed below) I found a fancy cutting board at a thrift store that was already divided into two sections, but any cutting board or slab of wood will do. Start by washing the cutting board really well. You need a …

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Cabochon Keychain Wedding Favors Tutorial

cabochon keychain

I’ve always liked party favors and since a wedding is just one giant party (at least ours was!), giving out wedding favors was a given. However, I wanted the favors to be something lasting (I love getting candies but I eat them before the wedding is even over!) and I wanted them to be connected to our wedding and to be used again in the future. (It’s super fun getting sunglasses with the couple’s name on them to wear at the wedding reception, but they don’t really get worn after that, right?) So I decided to make a whole bunch of cabochon keychains using art from our wedding invitations. To make your own cabochon keychains, you will need cabochons and cabochon backs (I ordered the cabochon and backs on Etsy), mod podge, a strong craft glue that dries clear (I love Aileen’s original tacky glue), print-outs of your design, scissors, …

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Kanzashi Wedding Bouquet Tutorial

kanzashi wedding bouquet

Although I made many things for our wedding, I think the pièce de résistance that made everything feel so me was the handmade silk kanzashi bouquet. I mean it’s just so bright and silly and happy and colorful! A kanzashi bouquet starts with a whole pile of kanzashi flowers – I had previously made a whole bunch from silk that I hand dyed. What makes them sparkle is a whole bunch of vintage earrings (I got these cheap in a lot since they were all missing their partners), cleaned, with their backs removed. You will also need a hot glue gun, floral wire, fabric for the stems, scraps of felt or fleece, and ribbon. On the top of each flower, hot-glue a vintage earring (already cleaned and with the back removed). Create a bunch of rouleau cord using your favorite technique (a quick google will lead you to a bunch of …

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Painted Initials on Cork Mat

finished intial cork board

For my cousin’s wedding, I made a whole stack of projects themed on cork (since it was at a winery) and the color blue (her and her husband’s favorite color). After sewing a recycled sweaters blanket, and making a chalk and cork message board, I wanted to add another little something that was personalized for Lindsey & Max. While at the thrift store, I found a whole stack of large cork coasters and decided that I would paint their initials onto one of the coasters as a finishing touch. Lindsey had admitted to me that she knew they would be very short on decorative items to hang on their walls when they moved in together after the wedding, so I thought something like this painted cork mat would be a fun, personal little piece of art that would fit nicely into their house and hopefully make them think of their wedding (and …

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Laser Cut Logo Keychains

laser cut beakers

I played with lasers! It was fun! One of my girlfriends was working on prototyping a fancy tool to hold her microscopy slides and it involved getting trained on (and access to) a laser cutter and a 3-D printer. Before leaving San Francisco, I simply had to get the chance to play on use the laser cutter myself, because, well, lasers! I bought a sheet of pink acrylic and cut out a bunch of circles with bits of my logo on them. The laser cutter imports .ai files so it was very easy for me to create the necessary file to guide the laser cutting. The file needed to be un-filled shapes with the outline color telling the machine which order to cut. I’m not actually sure what to do with all these cut circles (other than make keychains) now that they are cut, so I welcome any ideas! I saved …

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Handmade Pom Pom and Cork Tree Christmas Ornaments

pom pom tree ornament

Although I keep announcing that I’m not making anything for Christmas this year, I guess I keep proving myself wrong, because I got inspired and had to make a cute handmade ornaments to give out, gift, and decorate with! These handmade ornaments are made from pom-poms, corks, ribbon, and buttons – all things that I had readily in my craft supplies. Even if you don’t compulsively stash craft supplies like I do, you should be able to find what you need pretty easily. To make the pompom trees you need pom-poms, cork, something to cut the cork with (I use a little metal saw), a hot glue gun, ribbon, and buttons. If you don’t have pre-made pom-poms, it’s really easy to make your own! Wrap yarn around a couple of your fingers. Pull the yarn off carefully, and tie a knot around the center with another piece of yarn. (I …

Daily Notecards

daily notecards

For the past year I’ve been writing down what happened evert day on an index card. I’m so excited for the new year to start so I can continue the project with a history. I saw the idea quite a while (obviously over a year) ago on Design Sponge via Pinterest.

There’s a T-Rex in My Living Room, or How to Paint a Plastic Toy Tutorial

White Dinosaur on Coffee Table

This is a tutorial for painting a plastic dinosaur  to make it an item of decor. While this is a tutorial for painting a dinosaur, I suppose that you could use it to paint other plastic toys. It doesn’t have to be used on dinosaurs. Additionally, it doesn’t have to be white. If you think another solid color would go better with your décor, go for it! This is a great gift for anyone who likes kitsch and a perfect decorating compromise for me and Adam – subtle and classic yet kitschy at the same time!

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Wine Cork Coasters Tutorial

Cork Coaster Close Up

I love to make my holiday presents. While I have grand intentions of having everything done before the month of December, I’m honestly usually just getting started (and a little frantic) right about now. For those of you like me, I’m publishing a week of tutorials for easy, fun, gift-able craft projects that you can make in time for Christmas! (Although you’ll be pressed to get them done in time for Hanukkah since it’s so darn early this year!)

DIY Mini Bulletin Board Tutorial

Mini Denim Bulletin Boards

This is a quick and easy tutorial for DIY mini bulletin board. It uses a square of styrofoam, a hot glue gun, fabric shears, and some fabric. I found my styrofoam lining the inside of a box as packing material. It’s 3/4″ thick and roughly 10″x10″, but thickness and dimensions don’t really matter here. For fabric, I used the legs from an old pair of jeans, cut open. You can use just about any fabric, thick or thin, just make sure that a pin will go through it easily. It doesn’t matter how wide around your styrofoam you cut your piece of fabric, just make sure that it will fold up and over the side and reach the back of the styrofoam piece. Once you have the fabric glued on, flip it over and nail it into the wall. You can hammer straight through the front of the board as …

Sewing a New Picture for Our Dining Room

I just sewed us a new picture for our dining room. See it here above our beautiful credenza. The canvas has had a couple of different different lives. I painted it with a gigantic flower when I lived in my pink and green apartment. When Adam and I moved in together, he didn’t want our home to be painted pink and green (go figure!). So I painted over the canvas in a blown-up version of the purple twigged fabric. It looked okay, but it was pretty amateur and the black marker I had used to outline the flower leeched through the new layers of paint. I have grand ideas for a triptych that I want to embroider to go in that space, but it’s not at the top of my “To Make” list any time soon. I’m not sure where the inspiration struck me, but I realized that I could do …

Spider Plant Almost-Craft

Spider Plant in Teacup

I tried to make a craft out of re-potting baby spider plants, but it didn’t work. I bought a set of teacups and saucers from the thrift store. I planned on drilling through the bottom of the teacups so that they worked well as little pots. I bought a drill bit intended for drilling ceramic and glass. And I spent 15 minutes of hard pressure, drilling intently into the bottom of cup, only to find that I had barely made a dent. So I gave up. I went to a DIY message board for some advice. I was told that it really would take forever to drill through the ceramic and that I should be patient. I was told I should have gotten a diamond tipped drill bit. I was told my life would be made significantly easier by using a drill press. I decided to forgo holes and pot …

Bachelorette Hair Clips

Bachelorette hair clips

My cousin is getting married this fall. I am so excited in so many ways. First, I’m thrilled that she’s getting married. Her fiance is a wonderful man and they make a wonderful couple. Second, I’m thrilled to be a part of the wedding and to be able to celebrate it with her and the rest of our family. Third, I’m stoked to go to Nashville for the first time for the bachelorette party! I thought I would make a fun little contribution to the bachelorette celebration. I’m not one for the typical bachelorette debauchment or accoutrement (i.e. not so thrilled to make phalluses a part of my party clothes). Instead, I’ve borrowed a wonderful idea from another friend’s bachelorette party. I made floral hair clips for each gal joining the celebration. And I made a special one for my cousin with some white tulle. Construction was super simple. I …