Category Archives: Projects

Bridal Shower Gift Idea

bookmark backbookmark text side
Bride’s Bookmark

I sat down to write a personal message in the greeting card I would be giving the bride at her shower, and decided I wanted to include a Bible verse relating to marriage. Proverbs 31 (The Wife of Noble Character section) seemed like an appropriate passage. The problem was, I could not decide on a portion of this scripture, and it was too long to fit on the card if entirely written out. My solution? Create a personalized gift with this entire passage printed out, to include with my store-bought present. What gift? A bookmark would work nicely.

Out came the supplies:

bookmark supplies

 

I chose a piece of cardstock with a pattern I thought appropriate, and colored printer paper that complemented the pattern. In my scrapbooking supplies, I found a template to use for the shape (but extended the length.)

To create your own bridal bookmark:

  •  Type out the verse/message you want to use – Print on plain paper first to check sizing for your template.
  •  Print out the verses/message on the colored paper you’ve chosen. Tip: Use her wedding colors.
  •  Cut card stock and print-out to size and shape desired. Use template or customize.
  •  Using scrapbooker’s adhesive, attach the print-out to the card stock.
  •  Using a single hole punch, create a hole in the top for the string.
  •  Cut string much longer than desired length to have plenty to work with, loop trough hole, and tie off.
  • Make additional loop to create three pieces for braiding. Braid string and tie off end, leaving extra length     for the tassel.

Voila! Simple, inexpensive, yet personalized and meaningful gift for the bride-to-be.

bookmark back finished        bookmark text finished3

Back                                                                                     Front

 

Garage Makeover

Go ahead, call me crazy. Who makes over their garage, right? I won’t argue my sanity, but I did discover if you Google “garage makeover,” you will find some pretty intensive projects that are actually way more involved than mine. So, I feel a little better about my reaction when my husband suggested we spruce up our garage a bit. What he meant by that was slap on a fresh coat of white paint to brighten and clean the dingy walls and replace the dilapidated cardboard boxes that have housed our Christmas decorations for 15 years with some sturdier totes. Good ideas, but…my response was: Ok, I’m fine with the idea of fixing up the garage, but, if we are going to go to the trouble of painting, let’s add some color! And, if we are going to reorganize the storage section, let’s do it right! In short, I said we should give our garage some personality – our personalities.

Being intense game geeks (the board and card kind, not the electronic kind) we decided to extend the gaming theme that permeates much of our house to include the garage. I had quite a few ideas for how to do this, and had a tough time deciding, but finally chose cards and dice. These are the basic building blocks of gaming, after all. This meant white, red, and black for the colors, and dice and card décor for finishing touches.

Following is the step by step transformation.

Step 1:
Repaint the ceiling and top half of the walls white.
It was really nice to use the same paint on the walls and ceiling to avoid worrying about spillover at the edges.
We put small pieces of painters tape at 42″ from the floor around the room, to mark where we could stop painting. (No use wasting time and resources on the part that wasn’t going to be white!)

before door before   chris That’s my handsome hubby hard at work.

Step 2:
Add some color.
We marked 36″ up from the floor to show where the next color would stop (roughly – no hard line was needed, just a general stopping point to overlap where the third color, our black stripe, would start.) I was excited to be adding a splash of color to the garage, and red was definitely going to be more fun than the previously boring all-white. Playing card red is a pretty rich color, so it took two coats, but it was worth it.

red

We let that dry for a couple of days or so, then…

Step 3:
Paint a black stripe.
I looked up YouTube videos beforehand on how to paint stripes, and I asked friends for tips. I discovered everything from laser levels, to Frog Tape, to “measure with a friend” solutions. We decided to simply measure, tape, use a level to check the tape, then adjust as needed. (And it was needed…a lot.) This part of the process was, let’s say, less than fun. I have no desire to ever paint a stripe again. Although, I do think it was worth the effort in the end. We taped off the six-inch section between the white and red, carefully pressing down the tape edges with a putty knife to ensure no paint got under the tape. Another tip I found and used was to roll the paint horizontally rather than vertically, so paint is less likely to get pushed under the tape.

This is the part I was most nervous about. If the stripe ended up less than straight, due to measuring or taping poorly, or paint got under the tape and the edges weren’t sharp but lumpy bumpy splotchy messes, my OCD would simply not be able to handle it.

Praise the Lord, it turned out ok. We painted the six-inch black stripe all the way around the room, and I really like the results. A couple of imperfections after the tape was removed were easily touched up, and the line looks straight to me!

stripe

Step 4:
Create an organized and fun system out of the old ugly boxes that held our seasonal decorations.
To stay with the theme, we needed black and red storage totes. A search online yielded several results, with the best sizes for our needs and the best prices coming from Walmart.com. It was a bit of a math project to order the right combination of totes to fit on the existing garage shelving, and get the sizes we needed for our stuff, too. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the totes came in sets, not individual bins. We ended up with two sizes, large and small.

Here’s what we wanted to replace and no longer gaze upon:

shelves before

Step 5:
Organize the contents of the new totes.
After loading up the new bins with the freshly sorted and organized decorations, I went about making labels for the totes. (I don’t want to have to peak inside all of them to find the one item I need, do I?)

We bought 3 1/3″ x 4″ packing labels, and I used a card-theme border I found online to design the stickers. (I searched for “playing card border” and got plenty of results to choose from.) Armed with my list of tote contents and an Avery template in Word, I printed up the labels.

toes tote label

Step 6:
Wall decals.
Meanwhile…back at the beginning phase of the project, I consulted with a friend to help me design my other brainstorm for the makeover: His and Hers decals for the walls in front of each of our cars. Of course, just plain text “His” and “Hers” wouldn’t do. I wanted to incorporate the theme. I envisioned how I wanted to use dice in each of the words, found a font I liked, but had trouble finding the right clip art and getting it sized properly for printing, so asked a design-savvy friend for help. I think she did a fabulous job! I uploaded the PDF she created for me to http://www.walldecalworld.com and ordered 24″ prints. They turned out great!

his

hers

Step 7:
The final touches.
We splurged and spent $4.00 on a new cheap mini blind for the window. The dingy old one of the same cost would have required more than $4.00 in labor to clean it up, so I think this was worth the investment.
The door into the house usually had a seasonal decoration hung on it to welcome us in. Now, however, this would be part of the new look too. A pair of fuzzy dice seemed very appropriate for the garage. Done.
Of course I couldn’t simply put back the boring white switch and outlet covers that were there before. Another online search, and I had fun covers on their way. (Tip – be sure you actually look at the outlet to check what shape it is before ordering an outlet cover. Standard two-hole ones won’t fit if it’s a GFI oulet – oops! I’m glad that company does easy exchanges.)

blinds and shovels      plate covers

Step 8:
Take pictures of the completed project and write a blog post sharing the experience. 🙂

I am excited to now have a fun and inviting space to welcome me home!

before door

his hers wall

shelves before

shelves

 

DIY Dollhouse Turntable

lazy susan

When some friends of mine said they no longer wanted their lazy susan, I said I had the perfect repurposing for its retirement years.

With the addition of some plywood, screws, and felt, I now have a spinning stand for my dollhouse. This makes displaying it more fun, as it can be more easily viewed from all angles, and, since it is still a work in progress, makes working on it much easier as well.

Here’s the easy schmeasy step by step.

Supplies:

1/2″ 2′ x 2′ Plywood – Purchased at Home Depot

Lazy Susan – Courtesy of my friends

4 Screws – Scrounged from my bin of various hardware odds and ends collected over the years. I simply rooted through it until I came up with four similar screws, the length of which would go through the plywood and into, but not through, the top piece of the lazy susan.

Felt – Leftover from a previous project, but available at any craft store

4 Nails – Also from by bin of hardware fun

Glue – Craft Bond Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive, available at craft stores

Turntable Creation:

1. I found the center of the lazy susan and measured 3 inches out from center in all four directions.

2. I did the same for the plywood.

3. I drilled holes for the screws at each of these four points.

TIP: Ever fear drilling too far? If I ever want to ensure I drill a hole only as deep as the length of a screw, I measure the screw against the drill bit. I put a piece of painter’s or masking tape on the bit to mark the top of the screw. Then, I drill until the tape reaches the surface I am drilling into.

4. I placed the drywall over the lazy susan, lining up the holes, and screwed the plywood to the lazy susan.

measure

screws

finished underneath

5. I cut the felt to fit the plywood, with enough overhang on the sides to fold underneath.

cut felt

Figuring this part will never be seen except on this blog post, I kept the felt covering simple and rough. I did not bother with perfect edges, and simply folded the corners in rather than trimming to perfection. To help hold it in place and ensure the extra fabric at the corners stayed tucked in, I simply hammered in a nail at each corner.

hammer

6. I sprayed the overhanging felt with glue and fastened it to the underside of the plywood.

glue

7. I placed my dollhouse on top and spun away!

finished front finished side final back

 

Cute as a peach!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a…watermelon?

watermelon carriage

 

My mom saw this idea on facebook a few days before she and I were throwing a baby shower for my sister. We decided to give it a try. I thought it turned out really cute! Here’s the easy schmeasy step by step.

1. Cut section of watermelon away, to form carriage shape.

watermelon cutting

2. Dig out inside of watermelon to make room for the “baby” and fruit blanket.

watermelon empty

3. Fill with selection of fruit. We used sliced strawberries, blueberries, and grapes.

watermelon fruit

4. Slice an orange to create the wheels.

watermelon orange

5. Attach wheels with toothpicks, using grapes or blueberries to create center of wheel spokes.

6. Create the baby face. Use toothpicks to attach grapes and blueberries to a peach, creating eyes and nose for the baby. Cut a hole to insert a pacifier in the peach. You may have to cut the pacifier as well, to get it to lay flat, and/or insert toothpicks in the holes of the pacifier to hold it in place. (The peach just wasn’t sucking on the pacifier enough to keep it in its mouth!)

watermelon carriage head

Possible modifications:

Maybe because it’s early in the season, we could not find a very large watermelon. If a larger one is used, a cantaloupe with the rind removed can be used for the head, and a grapefruit can create the wheels.

7. Display at your baby shower for a fun and creative way to serve fruit!

watermelon carriage3

My mother gets all the credit for this –  for finding the idea, and for doing the carving and assembling. Nice job, Mom!

What did I do?

I carried a watermelon.

Coffee Pot?

Having been married to a teacher for 14 years, I have seen my share of less-than-useful teacher gifts. They are sweet, well-meant, and sometimes very useful (like restaurant gift cards.) But…really, how many coffee mugs do two people need? (Especially when neither is a coffee drinker!)

When my husband came home this week with his end-of-year gifts, I was pleasantly surprised to see a flower in the mix. It came in a small gift-wrapped container, and fit perfectly on our kitchen pub table. Nice, until…the next morning there was petal-filled cat vomit in the foyer. What IS the attraction for felines to eat things that simply make them sick? Ok, this thing is going outside! But…how and where? Planting a single flower in the landscaping seemed odd, and we had no pots small enough to work either.

Aha! Time to repurpose one of those old gifts collecting dust in the cabinet. I sifted through the shelves of coffee mugs, passing over the cute snowflakes, the oversized one that I love using for hot chocolate, and several others. On the top shelf was just what I needed! An extra-tall Christmas mug decorated with snowmen that I found more gaudy than endearing. Perfect.

mug

With my sister’s help, and a few crafty supplies I had on hand, we made the transformation.

First, two coats of pretty blue paint. Bye-bye Frosty!

painting mug

Once dry, I sprayed it with sealant. Then, we added a touch of flair from the mish-mash of floral pieces I have left over from previous projects. This included a flower that I painted yellow, to help it really ‘pop’ on the blue.

mug pot

I dropped a few rocks in the bottom, to add some heft against the winds on our patio. Then, the final touch – insert flower!

mug plant patio closeup

My new coffee pot!