Tag: diy

DIY holiday centerpiece

December 2
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I was at my parent’s house the other day and my mother gave me a few antique kitchen items and one of the items that stuck out to me was this adorable pie tin. You never see pie plates like this anymore and when she gave it to me I knew I had to find a fun way to showcase it.

Fast forward a week and we were decorating our home for the holidays and I saw the pie tin again. It took it over to my dining table and realized it would make a great part of a centerpiece.

I also knew I wanted something a little bigger than the tin, so I took the round tray I was currently using and placed the tin in the tray. I used a few coasters to raise the tin a little higher to give the centerpiece some, but not too much height. You wanna be able to see the person sitting across from you, right?

I added a set of three candles I already owned the middle as they work great in this space. Once I had my base I added some greenery. I found these sprigs with my holiday decor so I went with them. I wouldn’t mind something less glittery, but I am just going to go with the stuff I already have as it is here and simple. I then added a few sprigs of holly berries and some decorative cinnamon sticks and that is it!

This centerpiece was super simple and made from the pie tin plus stuff I just had around the house. I love thinking a little out of the box and creating like this with things I already have. Hopefully this post can inspire you to look around your home and see what you can use to create your own centerpiece or holiday decor.  If you create something, please tag me in a photo, I’d love to see it! I’m on facebook  @_amberdowns on Instagram.

 

 

DIY farmhouse centerpiece from a vintage pie tin. perfect holiday farm decor for your table.

Diy farmhouse centerpiece

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DIY Popcorn Garland

November 30
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We’re very in to Christmas decorating around here. It is not just me, my husband is 100% in on it too. We love to transform out home in to a holiday escape. In general, most of the decor decisions around here are made by me, but when it comes to the holidays, Charlie likes to have a little more input. So back in October, I asked him what he thought of doing a homemade popcorn garland instead of our usual beads and he seemed interested in the idea, but neither of us did anything about it. Fast forward to the day after Thanksgiving, our traditional decorating day, and as we’re starting to get the tree going, he asks me about the garland. I had forgotten about it until then, but when I saw he was interested I went over to the kitchen, popped some corn, and we went for it. I was lucky that we always make our popcorn from the kernel instead of the bag, so we had plenty on hand. I also had some leftover cranberries just waiting to be used.  So here you have it, our popcorn garland!

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This popcorn garland is super easy to make. In fact, my husband and I whipped it together for our seven foot tree in about an hour.

Supplies:

Note: Popcorn should be plain and free of and butter or oil. We used plain kernels and popped them in our Air Popper. (We LOVE this thing and it is totally worth it if you eat a lot of popcorn.) Day old popcorn will be a little more rubbery and will work better, but we used fresh and it was fine. 

To start grab your needle and thread and make your line. I doubled the thread and knotted it at the bottom to make a thicker garland. We made each of ours approx. 10 feet in length so that it wrapped around well, but wasn’t too long.

Now it is time to start threading the popcorn and cranberries on the line. We did a pattern of five popcorn kernels and then one cranberry, but feel free to experiment with what is best for you. You can even skip the cranberries completely if you’d like. If you find mushy cranberries toss them out.

Keep going until you get to the end. When I get there I used a cranberry at the end and then cut the needle off. I then pulled out of the strings out of the cranberry and tied them together so that the cranberry was a part of the knot.

After we had made out strands we just wrapped them around the tree so that the ends were in the back. Super easy!

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If you wanted to save the garland you could spray it garland with shellac. We skipped this part as I don’t plan on keeping this one; we will just cut it and add it to our compost.

Well there you go, that is how we made this charming garland for our tree. I am honestly surprised it is not more popular of an option with “farmhouse” and “rustic” being so in right now. But hey, more popcorn for me.

Christmas tree diy popcorn and cranberry garland. Perfect for your farmhouse Christmas tree and vintage holiday

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Happy Planner Garden Planner

May 23
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One of my favorite aspects of home ownership is having a yard of my own. A space where I can create and nurture life and spend time outside. Although I have been a homeowner for several years now I had not taken the plunge into vegetable gardening until the spring. Vegetable gardening is a little different here in Florida. Our soil is bad, our temperatures are sweltering, and the bugs are everywhere. Because of this I held off on growing vegetables for so long. Finally, after seeing friends be successful I started my own little garden.

It is not much yet, I am just growing some beans, squash, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes; but it is a good solid start. This is kind of a trial run for the fall. In Florida, fall/winter gardens often have better luck as the temperatures as much more mild. My plan is to take what I learn from this season about my land and soil and use it next month.

While planting my garden I realized I needed some way to keep track of what I planted, when I planted it, and what actions where taken regarding watering, fertilizing, and weeding.  This is when it dawned on me that using a Mini Happy Planner to record my garden would be perfect.

The planner is used as a cross between a planner and a journal. I can mark when I want to plant and fertilize so I don’t forget, as well as journal how my actions, the weather, and outside factors influenced the yield.

I have also added grid paper so that I can make a diagram of my garden. I use a few varieties of seeds as well as planting methods so I wanted to be sure I remembered which plants were which in the end. This will also help in the future to see what spots work best over time as well as if I need to remember for crop rotation.

I will be keeping my punch handy so that I can punch used seed packets and keep them on hand. I also included a pocket for other literature and receipts. (Did you know many garden centers accept returns on dead plants if you keep these?)  You never know when you need to go back and see the “rules” for the plant.

Have you ever made a garden planner? How did it go? Also, please share your favorite gardening tips, especially for Florida!

Teorizanthes Apparel!

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DIY BB9-E from a sock

December 14
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If you recall, back when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out in 2015 I shared a blog post about a DIY BB-8 that I made after falling in love with the droid.

Well there is a new Star Wars movie coming out this week and to celebrate I wanted to share a DIY BB9-E, a droid from the new movie.

Like my BB-8, BB9-E is made from odds and ends around the house including a sock.  Below are some basic instructions on how I made it.

Materials:

Black socks
Stuffing
Gray felt.  (I love the peel and stick kind.)
Thick cardboard
One brad
Red paint or nail polish.
Small bag of rice
Small rubber bands. (I use the clear hair elastics)
Scissors
Marker
Gray comb
The first thing we did was to make the top. First cut two circles out of the thick cardboard with one slightly smaller than the other. Note: We suggest a thick cardboard both so that it is sturdy and so that when we insert the comb it stays straight and firm.

My husband came up with a great way to make the antenna with a comb. We cut the comb and then removed some teeth. We then poked holes in the cardboard and pushed the comb through. This made it so that the antenna would not come out easily. This is hard to explain to check the photos for details.

So next you are going to want to make your felt circles. I took my larger cardboard circle and traced it four times on my felt. Again, I prefer the peel and stick version because I can draw my outline onto it easily which is super helpful. We freehanded the four circles so feel free to look at BB9-E and decide for yourself what you would like him to look like.

 


Our next step is to start assembling our droid. I started by cutting the leg off the sock and then taking the smaller circle with the comb parts and inserting it into the sock. The goal will be to have the antenna stick through the sock. It may take some playing with to get it to lay just right as the sock toe is in that area.

Once your top is in fill the sock with some stuffing and then add the second circle. Feel free to play with how much stuffing you want as it is all personal preference.

Once you are stuffed and circled take a rubber band and place it around the sock separating the top section from the rest. Depending on size you may want to wrap the band twice.


Now stuff the rest of your sock as much as needed to give your droid a nice round shape. After he is filled take a small bag of rice and put in into the sock. This will act as a weight to keep the droid standing.

Once you are happy with the stuffing and rice take another hair elastic and tie off the sock. Feel free to cut excess off. Play with the rice to get the droid to stand nicely.

 

Next stick or glue (we love this glue)  your felt onto your droid. Cut a few extras for the top. We stuck the brad through the felt and then the sock for the “eye.” We added a dot of red nail polish for the color.

 

 

 

 

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DIY functional Happy Planner dashboard

June 21
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If you’ve spent any time in the planner community I am sure you have seen all the super cute dashboards and dividers people have made. Let me tell you- they are ADORABLE and I love them, but they are usually just not for me. I love dividers, tabs and paper clips because I love getting to the page I want, but I need it to be focused on function, not cuteness. I am sure a cute shaker sheet is fun to make, but it does not help me.

img_0711Anyways, I have stayed away form most dashboards but this month I wanted to try something new to help organize  my lists. I decided to make a dashboard to hold a shopping list that I would refer to throughout the month. One of the things I have been working on this year is reducing the unnecessary trips to the grocery store and I am not doing so great. (Full disclosure, today I had to go to the store at 7:30 am to buy cat food. It is that bad.)  I am hoping that by creating a list that I can add to all week and then have with me I will be able to get everything in one trip and save myself time, gas, and money.

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The dashboard itself is made from a folder from the Dollar Spot at target. I cut it down using my paper cutter and punched it with my Happy Planner Punch. If you only buy one accessory for your planner, GET THE PUNCH. It is worth it! Want to know what size to cut it to? Check out my dimensions post here and find your planner.

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I then cut regular paper down to fit on the dashboard and attach with washi tape. When I’m done with the list I just remove and add another.

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What do you think? Do you have any other creative ways to hold onto a list in your planner?

 

 

Need a punch? I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out! Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper? I buy this one from Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget? Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more? Check out my archive of free printables.

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

Creating an easy DIY Dashboard for the happy Planner

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Making a summer bucket list in my Happy Planner

June 6
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So the summer is finally here and I am ready to make the most of it. Last summer was a little crazy with our home search, a new job, and handling a new commute but I now I am ready to go for it. My problem is that at the end of every summer I feel like I haven’t done anything “summery” and that I’ve wasted my time. Of course in all actuality I am usually super busy with work and the like over summer, but still, I wanted a way to really sit down and decide what I wanted to do.

So last week I took the MAMBI seasonal sticker pack and use their summer bucket list stickers as a start. I then added in my own items with other stickers and pen. I used a sheet of planner filler paper, however you could also make your own dot paper

 

OK, so maybe I cheated and added items I knew I was going to do, but that is OK. I want to be able to go back and say I did these things and then after I do them I will write the date. For the more general events this will be a way to remind myself of great ways to celebrate the season when all I feel like doing is watching TV. 

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

 

Need a punch? I have this one and love it!
The new Happy Planners are out! Grab one here!.
Looking for sticker paper? I buy this one from Amazon.
I cut my stickers with a Silhouette Cameo electric cutting machine.
On a budget? Try the Gyro-cut to cut your stickers.
Looking for more? Check out my archive of free printables.

 

creating a summer bucket list in your planner

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Beauty and the Beast Bell Jars

April 28
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Last week at work I had the opportunity to host an event for our volunteers. With the recent release of the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie I had the idea to tie the event to that theme. I mean Bell loves books, right? So of course I wanted to recreate the iconic rose for the centerpeoces. 

After some searching around this is what I came up with. It’s super simple inexpensive which is great if you need several like I did. Read on to see how I made them. 


Supplies:
2 liter soda bottles
1.5 in foam balls 
Black paint 
Black felt 
Roses
X-acto knife
Scissors
Goo Gone

Several hours before you need your completed project paint the styrofoam balls with the acrylic paint. You can use whatever paint you like except for spray paint as it ruins foam. I used the cheap little bottles of acrylic paint from the craft store.

Remove the label from the 2 liter bottle. I cut it off then used goo gone to remove the label. TIP:  If you are just buying the 2 liter for this project select one with a clear label as opposed to a colored one as they seem to leave less adhesive. Next saturate the adhesive reside with goo gone and let sit for a minute. After that use a coin or your nails to remove the goo. Wipe down the bottle to remove residual product.

Next grab an x-acto knife and puncture the bottle near the bottom.  You can then use the knife or good scissors to cut the bottom of the bottle off. I found that many bottles had a little seam there which made cutting easy. After you’ve removed the bottom set the bottle on a table to ensure it is fairly even. Remember that we are using felt on the bottom so if there is a small jagged part it is going to be alright.

Now that the jar is nice and cut it is time to make the lid. Remove the cap from the bottle and the plastic ring. I found that it was easy to use scissors to pry the plastic ring off.

Now you will want to cut your styrofoam balls. I cut mine about 1/3 of the way in. I then gouged out the insides so that it would fit on the top. I used an x-acto knife to do this, just be careful! Next carefully push the ball onto the top of the bottle. If you push too hard it could break.At this point I grabbed some windex and cleaned the inside and the outside of the bottle, removing any remaining fingerprints or debris.

Now it is time to grab your flower. Cut your flower so that it fit in the bottle with the bottom resting on the table and the flower appearing near the top of the bottle. If your flower has movable leaves feel free to move them around to your liking. The fuller the jar looks the better.

It is now time to grab the felt and cut a circle that is about 1-2 inches wider in diameter than your bottle and place the circle under the bottle.

You’re done!


I used these as centerpieces. The tables were decorated with red and dark blue tablecloths with book pages spread like a table runner for accent. Rose petals would look lovely as well.

What do you think? Share below! 
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site. All printables are free. Enjoy!

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DIY Painted Kitchen Cart

March 8
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A few months ago my husband ran across this cute little kitchen cart at a yard sale. He knew that I was looking for something like this for a corner of our kitchen/dining room area and so he grabbed it for me. I loved the little cart, but I felt that it was a little lackluster and didn’t go with the room so I decided to fix it up a bit.  I recently got a new teal rug for the dining room so I decided to paint the base teal and use an antiquing wax to give it an interesting look. Our kitchen cabinets are a red oak so I purchased a stain for the top of the cart that matched this color.

Materials:
Minwax stain
Chalk paint
Antiquing wax 
Paint brush (These are supposed to be great)
Polyacrylic
Painter’s tape
Fine sandpaper
Electric sander (Optional, but totally worth the $30 investment if you’re going to be doing a lot of projects)

I purchased my paint and wax from Michaels however for simplicity I have linked to products at Amazon.

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The top of the cart is a butcher block and was a little worn so I went ahead and sanded the top down a little bit.  I used a fine grit sand paper. After sanding I wiped down the piece thoroughly so that it was nice and clean and then followed up with a dry cloth.

I chose to start with the stain as I knew I’d be doing several layers. The stain I used stays on for 15 minutes and then is removed with a cloth. Read the instructions on your can in case it is different. Use painter’s tape (or washi tape in a pinch) to keep the stain off unwanted surfaces.

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After staining I started painting the body of the cart. Originally I wanted the exterior of the drawer to be stained to match, however because the wood was different from the top of the piece the stain did not sink in well so I painted over it. I did two coats of paint and then did some touch up in a few places to make sure it was good.

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I chose to use an antiquing wax on this piece to give it a distressed finish. It also muted the color a bit which fit my room better. I found this YouTube video on how to use the wax very helpful.  Remember to read the instructions on your wax, with mine I went back the day after and buffed the piece to finish it.

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The last step was to apply a clear coat of Polyacrylic to the top. This is a clear water based sealant that will protect the surface. You may want to do two or three coats of this.

Overall this was a great project and a great deal. We spent way less on this piece and the supplies as we would a nicely painted new version of this product and we got it in the color we wanted which looks great in the dining room area.

DIY Calk painted kitchen cart. This piece was stained and waxed with an antiquing wax.

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Ideas for the new house

August 1
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Fun Diy Projects for the patio and garage

So as you may fave gathered, we are moving soon and we are finally to the place where I can start to get excited.  Although I don’t see any issues coming up before closing, you never know. Although I am holding off making big purchases for the home, I am starting to allow myself to daydream about new DIY projects for this house.  I figured I would share some of my favorite idea from Pinterest here.

The house has a lovely patio and pool and I want to focus most of my attention there in the beginning.  We have a plastic patio set that I spray painted but I want to get something new (or repurposed) for the new house.  I was about to purchase one when I realized we have a perfectly good extra table and chairs that we don’t need.  I am thinking that we should paint it white and it would look great in the patio, at least for a few years.

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I heart nap time- Painted table

Or maybe I could spray paint the set?

chairs

 

In my own style- spray painted wood chairs

My husband recently got a nice saw and so I am thinking a few wood projects might be fun.  This little bottle opener seems perfect and useful!

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Shanty 2 chic- DIY bottle opener

 

And how cute is the grill tools holder?

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Lilluna- Grill tools set

This bench looks like an awesome project but we’d better get some easier stuff under our belts first.

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Ana White- storage bench

And lastly, how awesome is this upcycled file cabinet? I have an extra in my office and this would be perfect for our gardening tools. (I  would have never believed I’d be the person with so many gardening tools that I needed a special holder for them all.)

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Tttreasure blog- File cabinet into garage storage

Which project is your favorite? Have you done any of them?  If so share below! I will be sure to update with what I have done and how it went once we are settled!

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DIY decorative paper clips

February 29
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item via a link from the page I will receive a small comission.  This does not affect the price you pay for the item. In fact, I research the best prices for my site.

DIY decorative paper clips for your notebook, planner, paper,s work, binder and other needs. Make these cute clips and binder clips with hot glue gold paperclips, and paper crafting embellishments.

If you’ve been on Instagram or Etsy then I’m sure you’ve seen the super cute paper clips that everyone seems to have.  They are adorable, but they can get pricy.  I decided I wanted to have some cute clips that I could make myself.  I went to Michael’s and looked around my home and came up with the supplies.  My biggest cost was the gold paper clips which were $4.99 at Michael’s. Luckily I did have a coupon so I paid less.  Anyways, these are a great way to add some fun to your planner, desk, homework, or job.

  

Supplies needed:

Hot glue gun or other strong glue.  (e6000 is great also.)
Cute paper clipsbinder clips
Bows/paper/embellishments to glue on
Nail polish (If doing the binder clips)

I started with the bows as these are my favorite.  I purchased my red bows at micheals after chrisrtmas on clearance.  THe gold and black bows were from Hobby Lobby.  I was able to get them half off during a week where they did half off all house brand papercrafting.  (yay!)

When I do the bows I like to place the clip under a support that hold its parallel so that bow stays on nicely instead of being at a weird angle.  My bows had double sided tape on the back.  I removed the tape and the added some hot glue.  I set the paper clip in the glue and then added more glue.  This afixes the clip flriminy onto the bow.  If you wanted to be really fancy you could add glitter to the back but I am not fancy nor did I want the mess.  I let these dry while moving on to the next clips

 

My next clips were these cute cupcakes.  These were found in the scrapbooking embellishments area at Michaels. I decided I wanted the cupcakes that were the same size and shape to be used together as a double sided clip so I started there.

These had larger adhesive areas for scrapbooking and I didn’t want them to stick to my planner pages so first I covered both sticky sides with hot glue.  I then added in the clip and glued some more.  Because these were fairly flat I didn’t need to use a spacer.

Next I did the single cupcake, careful to cover all of the sticky back to protect my paper.

I had this little bag of cute die cuts and I waned to use one of them as a clip.  I found this cute mustache and thought it would be perfect.  For this I used a slightly smaller clip.

Lastly I wanted to spruce up my gold clamps from Hobby Lobby.

For these I just grabbed some cute nail polish and went to town.  I painted one side and then let it dry before going on to the other.

 

Don’t they look so cute?

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