Holiday DIY Goodies

As we move closer and closer to the holiday season I tend to get a little carried away, for this is not only my favorite time of year in general, but the biggest crafting season! As a student with little income I find that the holidays clean me out financially, but it need not be that way. Right?! I am a crafter, I am creative, and I know my way around a craft store, so why can’t I MAKE great gifts?  Well, that is just it, I can and I will.

I have scoured the internet for the best, most approachable holiday gift ideas and brought them to you. All reviewed and neatly organized, so without further ado: The Top Five DIY Holiday Gifts!

  1. Sharpie Mugs

I know, I know, been there seen that, but they are still one of my favorite DIY gifts. I made around 4 last year all varying in sayings. (“All I need is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.” or “Let us praise Him with dance. Psalm 149:3” were my favorites.) I have found the best tutorial on this cute project along with must read tips and tricks before you start:

diy sharpie mugs

2. Inked Wood

I didn’t know what to cal this one…but a picture speaks 1,000 words right? This is actually really cool and would be a gift I definitely would be excited to recieve.

inked wood copy

3. Peppermint Sugar Scrub

I am a big fan of scrubs and lotions, for I have been cursed with dry skin, and this peppermint sugar scrub looks down right delicious(fun to wash with not to eat). Again, I would love to receive this cute little gift for the holidays and the process seems easy enough.

peppermint

4. Gift in a Jar

Mason Jars are like *teenage girl voice* “so in right now”, and you could put any regular gift in one to make it cute. But, sometimes that’s a little too easy and us “crafters” need at least a little creativity involved, and this site has 15 gift in a jar ideas.

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5. Teacup Candles

How cute? I have always wanted to try making my own candles, but it has always scared me just a little but. But, I mean who doesn’t love to burn a candle in these cold, bitter months? Plus, although I don’t this tutorial includes it i am sure you can scent them anyway you want!

teacups copy

Candied Pecans

First of all, oops, I couldn’t think of a clever name for this posts. Oh well… Second of all, I realize that this post isn’t the typical DIY project, but to a degree it fits right in. I’ll leave the topicality of this post up in the air. But, I just couldn’t resist; I am who could CANDIED PECANS (choir of angels sing).

I, due to my lack of preparation, only made half of a batch, but will make them again very soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of pecans
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg, water, and vanilla extract aggressively until frothy.
    3. In a smaller mixing bowl combine sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

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    1. Add the pecans to the egg mixture and stir until evenly coated.
    2. Add half of the sugar mixture and continue to stir until evenly coated; add the remainder of the mixture.
    3. Lay the pecans on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

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  1. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, if you do not only will they not be as good, but they will be nearly impossible to remove from the parchment paper.
  2. Allow to cool in an airtight container.
  3. Enjoy and Share🙂

 

I was extremely pleased with the way these turned out, and I encourage you to try them. Thanks for reading🙂
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Side note: I recently emailed with the creator of You & Mie and I had the wonderful opportunity of asking her a few questions about her blog and tips that she would give to anyone attempting a new DIY project. I asked a few other questions, and found her answers inspiring, but one of my favorite things that she said I wished to share with you: “Part of me wants to say, “Just go for it!” I think that just diving in and allowing yourself to make mistakes and experiment is more valuable than a finished project. But the other part of me is a little more practical, so it wants to tell you that there are lots of resources out there (thank goodness for the world-wide web!) that can help you research tutorials and the best supplies, etc. so that you’ll be successful. Really I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do it, as long as you go for it and have fun!” I thought this was great advice and I think everyone could benefit from checking out her blog: http://youandmie.com 

 

Home is where your heart is…

I would like to began this post by saying this one was a MAJOR FAIL. I had been looking forward to this project for a while, and I thought that it would be the perfect gift for my New York born mother. I know how much she loves the northeast and can’t wait to get out of Kansas, so I scoured the internet for the perfect gift only to find that it costs money that I do not have. So, without further or do this is what I was aspiring to:

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http://theharpsterhome.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/heart-in-ohio/

Simple, unique, beautiful. I feel in love right away, and as soon as I saw it I had an “I can do that” moment.

I have pinpointed the exact moment where this DIY project went wrong. It was in the nails… As you can tell from the original project the nails are simple and not the thing that draws your eye. The beauty is in the thread. That, friends, was my problem, the nails…

 

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As I began to describe this project to my father he said he had “just the thing” these nails. He is very handy and was very proud of himself when he found the right length nail. Unfortunately, I did not realize the problem with them until I was finished. So, when you do this project I have one major tip USE NAILS WITH SMALL HEADS. If you use nails like mine you’re elegant artwork becomes clunky, and rough.

I used a piece of wood this size:

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I painted it white with acrylic paint. Lazy me, should have used multiple coats.

I printed off the template of my choice, located Albany, New York, and cut out a heart.

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Then, I began the labor some, loud, and time consuming section of this project. The nailing:

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Next, I tied a piece of thread multiple times around the nail I would start with. As I began I was going for the straight look (like in the picture of Ohio) but decided to do a more scattered look.

I randomly weaved the thread making sure it was all directed to the heart.

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I then, took a leap, for I was already displeased with the project I figured why not write on it. So I wrote, “You can take a girl out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the girl.”

I still believe that this project would be great, elegant, unique, and simple if executed correctly. So I say to you, learn from my mistakes…

Revamp your Lamp

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Okay, Blah, Am I right?! This lamp is just SO boring, and it has seen better days. By better days I mean days when it didn’t have  sharpie on it from when I wanted to do anything, but my school work. This has needed a major makeover since I got it, but I never knew exactly what to do with it.

I was going for an easy, different, vintage look when I did this. I, personally, had all of the materials at home so I didn’t need to go out and get anything, but they could easily be found at Michael’s (http://www.michaels.com/search?q=mod%20podge).

Materials:

  • Mod Podge foam brush
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • An old book that you don’t mind ruining
  • Elmer’s Glue Stick

The Process:

  1. Tear the book pages into uneven, medium sized pieces.

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2. Glue the back of the pages.

3. Press them onto the lamp shade-around 4 at a time(the glue makes it easier to handle when the mod podge is still wet).

4. Cover the pages generously with mod podge.

5. Repeat step 2-4 until the lamp shade is completely covered.

6. If you don’t want to overlap the pages you don’t have to but I like the way it looks when the light is turned on.

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7. Wait for the mod lodge to completely dry.

8. Re-glue any loose ends, as desired, and do a second coat of mod lodge, so it will be more durable.

I was relatively apprehensive about this idea, but I am actually very pleased with the way it turned out, and I think it is extremely unique. Have Fun!

 

Peacock Costume

After hours and hours of brainstorming and shopping for my ten year olds sister’s halloween costume I figured it out! A PEACOCK….it would be so cool, fun, and girly. After figuring out the costume now I had to set out a plan, a cheap plan. But, much to my surprise peacock eyes (hey, that rhymed) are expensive, like crazy expensive! So I had to innovate and change my plan. Here is my final product and how I got there!

A DIY Peacock costume for under $20 (With coupons of course)! All materials were found at Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Craft Store: http://www.joann.com

  • 10yds of matte tulle fabric (I used 2 colors so 5 yards of each)
  • 1 3/4 inch (any color) elastic–if you do it right it will be hidden and scrunched
  • 2 packages of Zucker Feather Peacock Feather(you will end up with a total of 4)
  • Laliberi Quick Clip Flowers Peacock (Any large flower hair clip would work)
  • Feather Boa (any color)–I used brown and white mix

Beginning with the tutu:

  1. Measure your waist and subtract the size by 3 inches, so if the size was 27 inches you would want to sew the elastic at 24 inches(27-3=24).
  2. Cut the tulle in strips about 6”x24”; the length of the strip depends on how long you want the tutu to be.
  3. Fold the strip of tulle in half and place under the elastic like shown:    IMG_8401
  4. Then, pull the loose ends through the loop and pull it tight around the elastic.    IMG_8402
  5. Continue to do this in any color pattern until the entire elastic is covered.
  6. Weave the boa in and out of the tutu/elastic waistline beginning in the front, then working your way around to make a bow in the back.

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7. For the arm pieces repeat steps 1-5.

Next the headpiece:

  1. Create a fan like shape with peacock eyes and hot glue them together when you have the desired shape.

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2. Hot glue the peacock eye fan to the flower, so people see the front of the eyes when standing in front of you, but the front of the flower from the back like so:  IMG_8399

 

3. Hot glue a couple of left over tulle strands to the bottom of the flower.

There you have it! I cute, cheap, girly peacock costume! Happy Halloween!IMG_8398