Category Archives: DIY

DIY: Quick and Easy Word Art

Our family loves books. I’m a big believer in reading to kids pretty much immediately. Even if they don’t understand anything at first, just the sound of your voice is soothing to them. Eventually they’ll start paying attention to the stories and they’ll have positive feelings associated with reading, which I think is incredibly important.

Anyway, I’ve been reading to both girls pretty much since they emerged from the womb. We have tons of favorites, one of them being Where the Wild Things Are. When Max decides to give up being king, the wild things shout at him “Oh please don’t go–we’ll eat you up–we love you so!” I’m not sure how or when, but at some point I start saying this line to Samantha.

I’ve been wanting some kind of art that incorporated the quote for a while now and the other day I decided to make one myself. It couldn’t have been easier. Continue reading

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DIY: Flower Headband

I know I gave you a headband DIY last week, but I just couldn’t help myself from posting this one. It’s so easy and so versatile! You can make one as a gift for your best friend’s birthday or for your bridesmaids to wear on your wedding day. You can wear it to the supermarket or you can send your little lady off to her first day of school wearing one. It’s magical, really.

Seriously though, it takes about 15 minutes and is super inexpensive. Why wouldn’t you make one? Here’s what you need:

  • headband (I used a plain silver one but you can pick up any color your little heart desires at just about any drug store)
  • silk flowers
  • felt
  • glue gun
  • needle and thread
  • if you want to be all fancy like, you can also add a vintage brooch or sparkly beads (I ended up ditching the brooch because it interfered with the petals of my fluffy little dahlia)

First, take your flower apart. Remove the stem and all of the little plastic pieces holding it together. Don’t be afraid to really pull at it. Those little pieces can be stubborn, but fret not; you won’t tear the petals.

Once it’s all disassembled, sew a few stitches through the middle to keep all of the layers together. Don’t worry about messiness on the underside. It will be covered.

If you’re going to add anything sparkletastic, now is the time. You can sew a few beads in while securing your petals.

Once your petals are nice and secure, break out the hot glue gun and attach a patch of felt to the bottom of your flower. Make sure the piece of felt is a decent size. It will help anchor your flower to your headband.

Next, attach your headband. Put some hot glue on the felt that’s on the flower then push the headband into the glue before applying another piece of felt over both the headband and the felt that is already attached to the flower. Push down on the felt firmly to make sure everything sticks nice and securely.

That’s it! Once the glue has dried you can put it on and prance around the house with a goofy look on your face thinking you’re the bees knees (what the hell does that even mean?). Or, you can put it on your daughter’s head and wonder aloud how you gave birth to such an adorable little creature.

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The Easiest Headband DIY Ever!

If you can manage to ignore the dumb look on my face and the awkward pose (hey, I was singing and dancing in between taking self photos to keep my little bean happy. This is as good as it gets!), you’re going to love this super easy DIY. In fact, it’s so easy, it hardly qualifies as a DIY.

I’ve mentioned how much I like buns. And I’ve mentioned how I need to accessorize a bit more to escape the rut I’m finding myself in. This super quick, super easy (and super cheap!) headband combines all of my favorite things.

All you need is some tulle (you can buy 25 yards of it for less than three dollars on Amazon!). The piece that I used was roughly 26″ long by 8″ wide. Wrap the tulle around the back of your head and tie a knot in front as if you’re about to tie your shoes. Make sure it’s snug so that you’re not tugging at it all day! Once you’re happy with how secure it is, knot it again. You can either leave the ends out for a bow-like look that’s fun and whimsical or you can tuck them under (like I did here).

Cute. Easy. Inexpensive. Just how I like it!

What do you think?

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Double DIY: Crepe Paper Curtain and Glitter Bottles

I love planning parties. I get completely obsessed with all of the tiny little details. Most of the time, I’m the only one who notices them. But if it makes me happy, who cares, right? I’m a fan of the little things. And I’m definitely the girl who will notice all of the tiny details (or lack thereof!) at your party.

As soon as I thought about my sister’s shower, I knew I needed to incorporate black and pink. My pal Janine and I went Pinterest crazy (she is as detail crazed as I am) and I scouted out my favorite  blogs for inspiration. There were so many awesome ideas! I weeded it down to a few and crafted my little heart out. The best part is how easy these were!

Glitter Bottles

We can’t talk about things I’m obsessed with without talking glitter. It’s so preeeeetty! And it’s perfect for  celebrating a baby girl. To cut some of the in-your-face girliness of all of the pink I was using, I decided to go with black glitter. Sleek, bold, and unexpected.

Here’s what you’ll need to make some yourself:

  • A bottle. I love crafts that let me reuse things instead of going out and buying supplies. It’s good for the environment and good for my wallet. I used some Yuengling bottles and a wine bottle I had leftover after a game night with friends. Note: if you’re using a lighter color glitter, you may want to go with a clear bottle.
  • Mod Podge. If you’re feeling like getting crafty, this is a must-have supply! You’ll also need a sponge or paint brush.
  • Glitter. The type you get totally depends on what kind of look you’re going for. I bought a really fine glitter because I want a low key shimmer. If you want something bolder, go with a chunkier glitter.
  • A sealer. You’re definitely going to want to seal all of that glitter so that it doesn’t shed like crazy. I accidentally bought it in matte (glossy would play up the shine), but it worked just fine.

Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, put them on some newspaper (this is a messy one!). Start by coating a small section of your bottle with the Mod Podge. Next, just pour some glitter on top. As I went along, I tapped my bottle on the newspaper to shake off the excess. And because I’m incredibly thrifty (ie cheap) I had an extra piece of newspaper to transfer the bottle to every once in awhile so that I could pour the glitter that had fallen onto newly Mod Podged sections. This reduced my waste dramatically.

Allow the bottle to dry and then go back and add more glitter to any spots that don’t have enough coverage. Once you’re happy with the amount of coverage you have and your bottle is dry, you can begin spraying on your sealer. You’ll probably need a few coats, but make sure you do thin coats and allow each to dry before adding a new one.

Those little yarn bottles were an easy DIY as well. I didn’t take any photos, but it was easy enough to do without any. Like the glitter bottles, I coated small sections with Mod Podge (starting at the top). I then took a skein of ombre pink yarn and just wrapped it all the way around the bottle. Once I got to the end, I snipped my yarn and put a little Mod Podge on the end to make sure it stayed put.

Crepe Paper Curtain

I knew I wanted to make a crepe paper (aka streamer) curtain, but Janine gave me the idea of making it ombre. I loved it! Like the black bottles, the different shades of pink helped to make the overall look less sickeningly sweet and girlie and more modern.

All you need for this is streamers in whatever colors you’d like (fabric scraps would work really well too) and something to tie them to. I used black tulle because I love it and was using it for other decorations. Twine or yarn would work just as well.

First, I cut a strip of tulle a little longer than the length I needed (I knew I wanted it to dip down in the center). Then I hung it up so that I could see how everything lay. Next, I cut a single strip of crepe paper a bit  longer than I wanted the curtain to hang. This step is essential since it’s so easy to rip the paper while tying it. I then cut a bunch of strips the same length as the first one because I know once I get into a good rhythm I don’t like to stop. All that’s left is tying your strips to the tulle. I left the ends loose at the top, figuring I’d trim them but in the end but I actually liked how it looked.

There will definitely come a point while you’re doing this that you’ll step back and wonder if you’re doing it wrong (I do this with most crafts). But think of it like any other art form. If you stop a painter in the middle of his or her work, there will be bits of the painting that aren’t blended properly and there will be things missing. It’s the same here. Your curtain needs to be full to give the effect you’re going for. And seriously, I promise this is a foolproof DIY!

If you try either of these, I want to know! Send me a photo at jennifergarrydesigns@gmail.com.

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Making Lip Balm With My Girl

My big munchkin is on winter vacation this week, so I’ve got my hands full. She’s used to days that are packed with fun activities and friends, so she pretty much constantly asks me what we’re doing next.

Luckily, Santa is a little bit of a genius and left her lots of crafty gifts under the tree. She also got a bunch of games that I’m sure I’ll be sick of by tomorrow! 😉

This morning, we decided to tackle the Creativity for Kids Make Your Own Lip Balm Kit that my sister got her. It’s perfect for her in so many ways (she’s a girly girl who loves to put on “sticky lips.” She also likes crafty things and science and this kind of combined all three).

Basically, it comes with some wax and flavoring. You soften the wax in hot water, add the flavor/color, put them into little canisters, and then decorate the canisters.

My girl loved it. The only issues I had with it was 1) I wish the container to mix and soften the wax was a little bigger and 2) it would be nice if the color/flavor was easier to squeeze out. It was made for ages 7 and up. Sam is 5 1/2, so it makes sense that it might be a little difficult for her to squeeze, but even I had an issue with it.

Minor difficulties aside, this kit was a lot of fun!

Here are some Instagram pics of my munchkin working hard:

stirring the wax to soften it

putting the lip balm into the container

smoothing it out

While she was busy being a mad scientist, my little one was busy tearing apart the kitchen. Here’s a picture of her in a calmer moment as she attacked a piece of banana as though she hadn’t been fed for days!

Even though it’s Tuesday, I’m linking up with a {little} dash of ash for Instagram Monday (I’m a day behind this week and I’m sure it will only get worse as the week progresses!).

Now we’re off to play Guess Who! What did you get for the holidays?

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Gift Wrap Inspiration

I have a problem when it comes to gift wrap. I’m completely obsessed.

I mean, seriously. If you run yourself ragged for the whole holiday season searching high and low for the perfect gifts for all of the people on your gift list, why phone it in and do a shitty wrapping job? And if you didn’t drive yourself mad in your hunt for gifts, well, that’s an even bigger reason why you should go the extra yard with your gift wrap.

Usually I’m a wrapping paper junkie. I love pretty prints and whimsical colors. But I’ve grown kind of annoyed by how little of it you get for your buck (did that last roll even wrap around the tube twice? Jeeez).

This year I’ve decided to turn to brown craft paper and other wrapping alternatives. You can be more creative and spend less–which sounds like a double win to me!

Check out some of the pretty inspiration I’ve collected:

{via Allora Handmade}

{via STC Craft | Melanie Falick Books}

{via decor8}

{via Tip Junkie}

{via Pinterest}

{via Songbird}

{via decor8}

{via babble}

What do you think? Are you planning on getting creative with your gift wrap or are you saying “Screw it, who has the time?”?

Usually I would be one of the latter (although I’d swear up and down until the very last second that I was going to be creative), but my bud and I have an eagerly anticipated gift wrapping party every year–and by party I mean she comes to my house and we stuff our faces with deliciously unhealthy foods while listening to Christmas music and wrapping our little hearts out. It’s amazing.

Do you have any wrapping traditions?

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Last Minute Halloween Ideas

Halloween is less than a week away and while I’m not dressing up this year, I’ve got costumes on the brain.

More specifically: quick, easy costumes that you can throw together with help from some pieces you might already have in your wardrobe.

Ruche had some really cute ideas of how you can use some of this fall’s biggest trends to create cute costumes (that don’t look like you squeezed into them with the help of some Crisco):

Super cute, no? All you have to do is add a couple of fun props or accessories and you’re good to go.

Of course I had to hunt around for my own idea:

Cowgirl Costume
Old Navy plaid top, $25 :: Quiksilver boyfriend jeans, $62 :: Forever21 boots, $33
Cowboy hat, $50 :: Oasis belt, $35

If you’re looking for more ideas, the Queen of Halloween, Martha Stewart, has plenty on her website. I’m especially fond of this Medusa look, since all you really need are some dollar store toy snakes and a sheet you can tie around yourself like a toga!

Another really simple look is a cat,  like Denni from Chicmuse did in a recent post about Givenchy’s panther bag.

HelloGiggles did a post last week about some fun DIY Halloween costumes that don’t require the word “naughty” in front of their descriptions.

And if you’re on the hunt for something your bite-sized trick or treaters can hold their haul in, consider the FEED Trick-or-Treat Bag to Benefit UNICEF. For every bag sold, a donation will be made to UNICEF to provide a year’s worth of micronutrient powder to a child in the developing world.

What are you dressing up as this year?

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DIY Junk Mail Stationery

So you all know at this point what a big repurposing nerd I am, right? Eco-friendly + cheap = perfection in my book. Well, I came across this video on Poppytalk this afternoon and I absolutely had to share.

As part of the Unconsumption Artist Series (where artists were selected to repurpose things using the Unconsumption logo), Yellow Owl Workshop created this super simple video tutorial that shows you how to make stationery out of all of that annoying junk mail that fills your mailbox everyday.

I don’t know about you, but I’m amazed at the amount of junk mail I get even though I request to get things digitally whenever I can. This is a great way to reuse it, save money, and have super cool personal stationery. Love it!!!

Junk Mail Stationery from Yellow Owl Workshop on Vimeo (via Poppytalk)

Check out Uncunsumption for some other amazing repurposing tutorials (I might have to make some glass bottle vases with all of those mason jars I have lying around…).

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DIY Skin Care: Facial Edition

I was flipping through this month’s Real Simple when I came across an article called “Take a Vacation… From Your Beauty Routine.” All about giving you hair, skin and nails a little breather, it explains why less can be more and gives some tips for spa-like treatments at home.

It got me thinking. Why do we put chemicals directly onto our skin–especially if there are simple, natural, inexpensive alternatives? We worry about what’s in our food and the plastics we use, but for some reason when it comes to beauty treatments people often turn a blind eye.

I did a little research and found a few facial recipes I’m willing to try.

via Marie Claire

Soothing Oatmeal Mask

Cools and calms overheated skin, red skin, and heat rash.

  • 1/2 cup full fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • Leave on 10-15 minutes, rinse
via Real Simple (Aug 2011)

Organic Banana Face Mask

Your skin will have a healthy glow after applying this tropical mask to your face. This recipe is designed for all skin types.

  • Mash one half of a banana
  • Mix in a tablespoon of orange juice and a tablespoon of honey
  • Apply to the face and keep the mixture on for fifteen minutes
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and then moisturize
via Marie Claire

Heavenly Honey Citrus Mask

This honey-and-orange-based mask is a quick fix to give your face an organic healthy glow.

  • Combine three tablespoons of orange juice with half a cup of honey
  • Apply to the face and leave on for half an hour
  • Rinse with lukewarm followed by cool water, then moisturize
 via Marie Claire

photo by Selma Broeder

Cup o’ Joe Facial Scrub

The coffee will exfoliate your skin while the olive oil provides a good source of moisture to keep your skin soft and hydrated. You can store your coffee scrub in the refrigerator if you prefer, but it will stay fresh for several weeks at room temperature.

  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 tbsp. coffee grounds (note: the coffee grounds should be very fine because you’ll be rubbing them onto your skin. Put them through a coffee grinder twice if you need to)
  • Mix the coffee grounds and olive oil. (If you’d like to make more or less, the ratio is 3 tablespoons of coffee for every 2 tablespoons of olive oil.) The scrub should look like a coarse mud when finished.
  • To use, simply take a small dollop of the coffee and olive oil mixture and gently scrub it onto your skin. Then rinse completely with water.
via PETA

What do you think? Are you willing to give any of them a try?

In case you’re crunched for time or just plain lazy, I found some organic alternatives to homemade skin care.

Jojoba Buff - Organic Exfoliating Crème Cleanser by Spa Goddess

Organic Micro-Polish- Refining Facial Cleanser by Naturallogic

Pangea Organics Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry Facial Mask

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DIY Shoes: Love ’em or Hate ’em?

For those of you that don’t know, I’m the blog editor over at Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever!, a wedding blog that focuses on New York’s Hudson Valley. One of my duties is to find awesome real weddings that might be of interest to our readers.

Last week I featured the gorgeous wedding of Allison and Tim. Among the many super pretty details were Allison’s killer shoes (shown below in a photo taken by the incredibly talented Jade of Uplift Photography).

The most amazing part of these pretty sparklers? She embellished them herself!

She bought a pair of Something Bleu flats off of eBay for $60–they’re regularly $240!–and attached the rhinestones by hand. How gorgeous are they?!

It got me thinking. Why don’t more women do that?! There are tons of way to personalize your shoes.

First, there are literally thousands of shoe clips available on Etsy. They can transform an ordinary shoe into a show stopper.

ruffle chiffon flower shoe clips from Fink Shop

mini bow shoe clips from The Shop at No 144

Looking to really go DIY? Green Wedding Shoes has a pretty easy tutorial on adding a chiffon embellishment to a relatively plain shoe. I have also seen some pretty amazing hand-painted shoes out there (check out norakaren if you like the idea but aren’t that crafty).

If sparkle like Allison’s is more up your alley, these Benjamin Adams beauties may be your dream come true.

Sadly they cost about $400, but The Bride Fairy has a tutorial that will cost you way less (you just need a little time and patience).

So what do you think? Would you embellish a pair of shoes to get a more unique look or would you rather just buy ’em and forget about it?

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