3 Little DIYs That Make a Big Difference

Rennovated Lamp

Lamp

So, I inherited this lamp from my aunt, and to say the least, it needed a little work. The shade was outdated and covered in water stains, and the cream base had yellowed from years of smoking. Instead of throwing out $40 for a new lamp, I decided on a little DIY.

How-to

1. Before you spray paint, be sure to clean the base with a wet rag and wait for it to completely dry, or else the paint won’t stick.

2. I taped a Wal-Mart bag tightly round the areas I wanted to avoid painting.

3. Apply 3 or 4 coat, letting the lamp dry completely between each.

4. Finally, grab a cheap, $10 lampshade from Target or Wal-Mart to complete the look.

Tips:

1. It’s better to do a thousand thin coats than two thick coats with dried drips.

2. Tape the electric cord to the underside of the base during painting.

3. If you’re looking to add some color, you can dye the lampshade in your shower.

Fabric Shelf-Lining

Total cost: $4

Fact: Wallpaper is expensive. Fact: Fabric is not. With just a couple of yards of fabric, you can line the back of any bookshelf, kitchen or bathroom shelving. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make!

How-to

1. Measure each and every nook and cranny of the shelf. It’s tedious, but don’t cut corners!

2. Iron the fabric before cutting.

3. After tracing the lines on the wrong side of the fabric, using a pen or other non-bleeding utensil, cut out the squares.

4. If it’s being applied to a wall, using nails to hold the edges in place, pulling the fabric tight the entire time. If it’s being applied to wood of any kind, you can also use a staple gun or double-sided MM tape.

Tips

1. You may need a friend for this one to help you keep the fabric pulled tight.

2. When cutting the fabric, be sure to cut on a perfectly flat surface like a table or the floor. Sounds silly, but it makes a big difference in cutting striaght lines.

3. Use double-sided tape in between the nails or staples to keep the edges straight.

Framed Cards

Cards

I’m a big collector of cards, so I had originally wanted to frame some of my favorite Quotable cards over my bed. After accidentally shattering the frame’s glass in the process, I realized I actually really liked the front open so the cards can stand out in a very catchy, 3D way. You probably don’t need instructions for this, but I’m going to type them out anyways.

How-to

1. Pick out several of your favorite cards and decide how you want them arranged.

2. Visit the nice people at Hobby Lobby and let them make you a custom mat. Seriously, I know you’re going to be tempted to DIY this too, but it’s very tricky to make perfect, visually-pleasing squares in heavy matting.

3. Arrange cards the way you like, making sure the front page is pulled through the mat opening.

4. Hang! See, wasn’t that easy?

Tips

1. Seriously. Don’t try to make the mat yourself.

2. Try to find cards of the same size. For instance, all Quotable cards are 5″x5″.

3. If you use your overhead fan a lot, you may want to consider using the glass as they will flap wildly in the breeze.

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Looking for more ideas? Follow my blog to receive updates about my next DIY post, where I’ll be telling you how to make a very posh bed canopy for under $25!

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DIY Summer Headwrap

Summer is in the air, and headwraps are all the rage this season. Just ask Urban Outfitters.

headwrap jerseylayered woodblockprint kerchief headwrap

But why pay $16 plus shipping and handling when you can make your own in less than an hour for $3? Just follow the simple steps below, and you’ll be on your way to hipster heaven in no time!

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Supplies:

1/4 yard of printed jersey knit/poleyester blend fabric

1/4 yard of solid jersey knit/poleyester blend fabric

Needle and thread/sewing machine

Scissors

Sewing pins

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1.  Cut out four 5″x26″ strips of fabric, two of each print. If you want a thin headwrap, use 3″x26″ strips instead.

Step 1

2. Round off the edges to reduce bulkiness on the back of the your neck.

3. Pin the wrong sides (non-print) of the coordinating fabric strips together and sew, leaving a small gap to flip the slip right-side out. If you’re feeling lazy, you can always use fabric glue instead, although it won’t be as durable.

Step 3

4. Once the strips are sewn together, wrap one strip of fabric around the middle of the other, folding it in half, to make an X shape.

Step 4

5. Sew each of the four ends together in the back, layering one on top of the other.

Viola! Congratulations on your new, ultra trendy headwrap.

Finished!

Now that wasn’t so hard, right? To simplify your next headwrap, check out these no-sew tips:

1. If you’re only using solid colors, you only need to cut out one strip of each color. This also means the only thing you’ll need to sew are the loose ends at the very end. If you can’t sew, you can simply tie the ends together, but use 30″ instead of 26″ to begin with.

2. If you’re using just one color, you can actually cut one giant strip, 5″x52″, and sew the ends to together to make a giant loop. Then, you simply wrap the loop around your forehead twice.

3. To score that $3 deal, keep an eye on the sales at Hancock Fabrics.

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Feel free to share your tips and photos in the comments below, and make sure you follow my blog for more DIYs to come!

DIY Super Mario Piranha Plant

Piranha Plant

After my last post, I’ve been dying to get my hands on some perler beads. Then, when I stumbled across this perler bead piranha plant on the Internet, I knew I had take a stab at making one for myself.  If you’re not into Super Mario, you could easily use another type of flower. They’re fast, they’re simple, and they make perfect desktop decor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Supplies

Small flower pot

Iron

Green paint

Perler beads

Toothpick

Tweezers

Styrofoam

Steps:

1. Paint your flower pot green so it can be drying while you work on the rest of your piranha plant.

2. First outline the design, then fill in using the perler beads.

Piranha Piranha

3. Cover the design in perler ironing paper (also sold at Hobby Lobby) using extreme caution not to disrupt the beads.

4. Lay the iron on the perler beads and count to 15, leaving the iron still. Only heat the design on one side so that the piranha plant will look pixelated.

5. Let the beads cool onto the ironing paper before peeling your design off.

6. Trace the opening of the flower pot onto a piece of Styrofoam and cut out the circle.

Styrofoam

7. Place the Styrofoam in the pot, making sure it’s somewhere near the top

8. Slowly insert the stem into the foam.

9. Cover the foam with brown and black beads, so it will look like soil.

10. Break a toothpick in half, and use it to prop up your flower from behind. They have a tendancy to curve after being ironed.

Tips:

1. Hobby Lobby sells a rainbow pack of perler beads for $10, and if you download their app you can get a 40% off coupon.

2. Do not move the iron in a circular direction like the package says.

3. If you have a shortage of beads, paint the foam tan instead of filling the pot with beads.

4. Follow my blog for more awesome posts and crafts!

Make Your Own Disney Shoes

Around 6 months ago, on a Disney Pinterest binge, I spotted a pair of Little Mermaid shoes I simply had to have. The problem? The cheapest pair was $80. So, like any broke college kid with an inflated sense of craftiness, I decided to make my own and share the process with you.  If you’re not a Disney fan, no sweat. You could easily turn these into Star Wars, super hero, or Super Mario shoes (you can also do other unsuper things, as well.) Really, the options are limitless. There’s only 8 steps between you and a pair of whimsical kicks, so what are you waiting for?

Little Mermaid Shoes

Supplies:

  • White canvas shoes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Black Sharpie (optional colored)
  • Scotch Guard protective spray

1. Buy a pair of white canvas shoes. If you’re working on a budget, I suggest the $17.99  knock-off Vans from Payless. (click to view)

2. Browse coloring books or online pages for the design/character(s) you want. Once you have them, cut your designs out and make sure they fit on the shoe. Arrange them as you will paint them.

3. Using a wooden pencil trace the outline of your character onto the shoe. When you finish outlining, draw the inside lines, such as facial features and clothes. If you’re a truly unartistic person, you may want to phone a friend for this step.

4. Bust out the paints! You will want to use acrylic paints, which you can buy at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby. For small details like facial features, it’s easier to use colored Sharpies.

5. Let the shoes dry for at least 12 hours.

6. Go back with a black Sharpie or paint pen and outline all of your pencil lines to sharpen up the image.

7. If you want to do any extra paint effects, like shading, add these now after everything is outlined and dried.

8. Coat your shoes with Scotch Guard to protect them from dirt. Just like spray paint, stand about 10 feet away and spray your shoes thoroughly with two solid coats.

Voila! Congratulations, friend. You now have your very own pair of Disney shoes!

P.S. Have you followed my blog yet? Click “follow” on the sidebar to the left to get notifications on new posts!

WWMD: A Crafter’s Christmas

Sometimes the generous tidings of Christmas clash with the empty holes in your pocket, provoking an ugly “What now?”. Before “I’m sorry I couldn’t get you anything…” rears its dirty poor head, ask yourself one question: WWMD? That’s right, what would Martha do.

WWMD?

WWMD?

Because I idolize Martha Stewart the way young girls fawn over Hannah Montana, I decided to channel my inner Martha (who resides not so far from the surface) for a bit of holiday inspiration. Here’s a sneak peek at three of the gifts I’ve been working on for the past month.

If you’d like the pattern or recipe I used on any of the gifts below, simply click the picture.

Did someone say “lumberjack”?

Total Cost: $6

Total Cost: $6

I made this bearded hat for a dear hipster friend of mine because it’s a well-known fact that hipsters like beards. Also, Instagram wouldn’t let me save my own picture, so I had to use the pattern’s site picture. Sorry about the creepster in the velvet shirt. Anyways, it’s a perfect pattern for beginners and took only two hours to complete. The yarn was $3 for each color at Walmart, and despite urban myth about the crafting goods at Walmart, is actually quite soft and unitchy.

Yes, Mr. President, I will eat your face.

Total cost: $15

Total cost: $13

Made for a very special friend of mine with a fancy for all things colonial America, these cookies were generally inexpensive, though a bit time consuming, to make. I ordered the constitutional decal and cookie cutters from Ebay, but the rest is all Walmart. The trickiest part is the icing, as you want it to dry hard to avoid smearing on the other cookies. If you’re looking for a good icing recipe, just click the picture.

To infinity and beyond!

Total Cost: $4 or $8, depending on number of loops

Total Cost: $4 or $8

After a special request from my aunt, I began work on this most dapper scarf. It’s thick and dense to keep out the cold and is most relaxing to work on. The yarn is $4 per skein, so the overall cost just depends if you want one loop or two. Just knit this as you would any scarf, and when you feel it’s long enough, bind off and stitch the ends together with some leftover yarn.

Although these are not the only crafts I’ve been working on, they’re the only ones I can show at the time, being that their recipient has either already gotten them or knows what they’re getting. Perhaps after Christmas I can show you all the many  things I’ve been working on. Until then, remember: WWMD?

DIY Disney Nails

After finding inspiration on a Disney video blog, I simply had to try my hand at replicating these DIY Disney nails. While Disney may not captivate you the way it does me, you can always substitute it for…well, anything. For this project, I summoned the help of my good friend and newly discovered hand model, Hannah Pickrel. So whether you’re combing for sleepover ideas, procrastinating an essay, or (if you’re a guy) trying to figure out what in God’s green Earth is happening here, stay tuned. Hopefully you’ll find these Disney Nails as magical as I do.

1. After removing any previous polish and applying a standard base-coat, paint all of the nails white.

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2. After the white has completely dried, apply a coat of silver glittered polish on the tips of the nails, omitting the ring finger. Begin on the very ends of the nails and work your way up gradually to the half-way point.

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3. Once that has dried, use a gold glitter polish to apply two coats in the same way. You want the glitter to accumulate most at the end of the nails and dissolve upward.

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4. Now that 8 of your fingers are finished, its’ time to address that empty slate of a ring finger. For this project, you’re going to need some buy some Disney tattoos at Wally World. Cut the tattoo of your choice to fit the size of your nail (if you’re doing a princess, try using just the face.)

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5. Apply the tattoo directly onto your fingernail just as you would to your skin, using a wet cloth or paper towel. Once you remove the paper, tuck any remaining tatoo underneath the nail.

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Voila! You’re nails are officially Disneytized.

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When they’re finished, you’ll be as happy as Hannah! Well, hopefully.

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