Tag Archives: Do it yourself

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: Kids Boredom Buster Jar

I mentioned last week that I put together a little Bored Jar inspired by a few different projects I saw on Pinterest (just searching “boredom busters” there brings up an endless array of ideas for any age group). I thought it would be fun to give you a little peek at our jar and some of the things Samantha has done with it.
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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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Cheap, Easy Organization

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an organizational post–and you can tell if you take a peek inside my house. I always think summer will be when I get myself together. You know: clean out the basement, organize the closets, get rid of kids toys that never get played with. But this seldom happens. Who wants to stay inside when we can be at the pool or running around in the sunshine? Who wants to do manual labor when you’re sweating just sitting on the couch? Not this girl!

Still, I need to find some way to wrangle the mess that is my house. Since I’m both cheap and always looking for ways to be eco-friendly, I love the idea of organizational pieces that can easily be made from things I already own (or things that would only cost me a few dollars).

So off to Pinterest I go…

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DIY Fail: Yarn Ball

Bloggers are always showing you their beyond perfect crafty creations, but you rarely see any missteps. And you know there are missteps.

I happen to think that you can learn just as much from my DIY failures as you can from my successes, so I thought I’d chronicle one of my recent mishaps.

Have you seen the seriously adorable hanging yarn balls that are all over Pinterest (the picture at left is just one of seemingly endless examples)? I thought a couple of pink ones would be absolutely perfect for the “About to Pop” baby shower I threw for my sister. Since I had all of the supplies on hand anyway, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

First, I gathered my supplies.

I collected a balloon, scissors, yarn, Mod Podge and a sponge brush and was ready for action (or so I thought). Since I knew it would get messy, I laid out some newspaper– although I’m not really sure why. The table I was using is already full of crafting war wounds. I’m hoping to tackle that in a future DIY, but I digress!

I took my (blown up) balloon and smeared Mod Podge all over it. Next I started wrapping my yarn all over it. As I was doing this, I started to wonder if I should have checked out some tutorial beforehand. Would there be enough Mod Podge to make the yarn good and stiff? What about the layer of Mod Podge on the balloon? How would that work?

I had a feeling I knew how it was going to work out, but I charged ahead anyway. Next time, I’ll look around for some tutorials or go with my gut instead of wasting time on something I was pretty sure wouldn’t turn out right.

When I was satisfied with the amount of yarn on the balloon, I tried to put another layer of Mod Podge on top (mostly because I was concerned the yarn wasn’t saturated enough).

I left it to dry over night and was greeted with this when I popped the balloon in the morning:

FAIL. Of course, my first layer of Mod Podge made a little skin underneath the yarn.

So what did I learn from this blonde moment?

If something seems wrong, it probably is.

Take a step back from whatever you’re doing and try to think about it from a different angle. If that doesn’t work, look for help from others. I hopped back on Pinterest and quickly saw that other people soaked their yarn in a mixture of water and glue (and sometimes corn starch). That makes much more sense, since you want the yarn to get good and stiff so that it keeps the shape of the balloon once you pop it.

Next time I go with my gut.

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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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Organize My Office

Way back in September (seriously, it feels like forever ago!) I wrote a post on how I need to organize my life. One of the biggest reasons I did that post was because of the state of my office (well, office may be too grand a word for the corner of my bedroom that has become my workspace since my little bean’s birth).

It was and still is a complete disaster. I don’t know about you, but messes can really get to me when I’m trying to work. I can’t concentrate completely when I’m surrounded by clutter because it distracts me (honestly, it’s a wonder I get anything done considering the state of my house on a regular basis… just ask my husband).

I think my biggest problem is letting little things go (like the mail or papers sent home from school with my daughter). Little things become big things when they pile up. My workspace is just one big mess of little things.

I wish my office looked more like these gorgeous spaces (see Pinterest for sources):

Don’t these spaces make you drool?! They’ve sent me into an online window shopping frenzy. I love office products in the first place, but now I’m on the hunt for relatively inexpensive, clever organization solutions. Here’s a little taste of what I found:

spice rack :: drawer organizer :: baskets :: 5 drawer cabinet :: birdcage
shampoo rack :: cardboard organizer :: paper sorter

These ideas have totally inspired me to tackle my mess. I might (might) even go crazy and tackle one of these DIY projects (lord knows I have a hefty collection of empty boxes left over from the holidays!).

What is your work space like? Are you messy like me or does everything have its place? And if you’re neat, please share your secrets! I need them!!!

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