Category Archives: DIY

How I Brought My Old High Heels Back To Life!

If you know me, you know what a shoe girl I am.  It sounds cliché, but it’s true.  It’s almost embarrassing that I used to sneak new shoe boxes into my house or leave them in my car until nobody was home.  “Oh these shoes? These old things?!  I had them at the bottom of my closet and forgot all about them until I found them tonight”.  If I was Pinocchio, I would have poked out countless eyes with my quickly growing nose.

IMG from Insidepulse.com

This was last weekend’s attempt to “organize” some of my summer shoes and stuff them under my bed in this vinyl thingamajig.

Let me get to the point.  I saw this on Pinterest and had to do it. Click HERE to see my pinboards.

D-I-Y Glitter Heels!! Click here to see the tutorial I followed.

I had the perfect heels waiting for this project.  Scuffed, comfy, and sitting in my closet already.

See?!  Scuffed. These girls and I have been through some good times together.  I just wasn’t ready to toss them yet…

I gathered my funky old shoes, super-fine glitter (I had silver & blue on hand), Mod Podge (I used satin finish), a stiff bristle paintbrush, a disposable tray, and a large piece of paper (or newspaper to protect your work surface).

I poured out about 1/3 of the glitter onto my tray. I decided to go with only silver.  You can mix colors if you’d like I’m sure.

I poured in a blob of Mod Podge.  You can always add more, so I went easy and it was just enough.

I stirred it up until it was well mixed and goopy.  I panicked a little bit when it looked cloudy, but Mod Podge dries very clear. No worries 🙂 .

I applied a not-too-thin-but-not-too-thick first coat to the shoes.

I let this coat dry for about 20 minutes. Then I slapped on another coat.

It’s pretty safe to say that at this point, I was squealing like a 10-year-old Justin Bieber fan.

I was twirling skipping wearing these all day long!  I kept looking down at my feet and giggling!

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What do you collect?  Are you a shoe/ purse/ jewelry hoarder?  Confessions shall be filed in the comment section 😉

For The Kids’ Table On Thanksgiving

When I was little, Thanksgiving day would go something like this:

Wake up ridiculously early.

Watch the parade.

Unravel the 20 braids in my hair so it would look crimped and gross like fancy mermaid hair because that’s what people do on special occasions 😉  .

Go to my grandmother’s house and eat at the kid’s table I had to eat enough real food to get me to the next round which was ice cream sandwiches that were somehow in the magical shape of turkeys.

Watch the women sit around the kitchen table and talk.

Watch the men watching football.

Long story short, I wished I had something fun to do while the grow ups did grown up things.

If you didn’t know this about me already, I’m an art teacher. Here’s a fun and cute activity for the little guys at the kids’ table this year. It’s a Native American inspired vest.  I do this project with my kindergarteners and 1st graders. They love it, and it’s virtually fool-proof.

You will need:
A large brown paper bag ( the kind from the grocery store, not Bloomingdales)
Crayons
A hole puncher
Yarn
Scissors
A big piece of construction paper (optional)
Glue ( if you are using the optional paper above)

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Draw a “U” shape on the bottom of the bag.

Flip the bag over.  Draw a “V” shape at the bottom of front of the bag (where there is a seam).

Cut out the “U” and “V” shapes out.  (I add 2 strips of packaging tape to the shoulder area so they don’t tear).

 

Cut down the front seam.

Cut 2 arm holes out.

Punch holes along each side of the seam.

Decorate with crayon at any time.  I’d do all of the above steps before the kids get there if they are small and can’t use scissors.  Nothing’s worse than feeling like a “baby” when you’re 4.

I had my students draw on a large brown paper that was glued to the back of the vest (in case they made a non-fixable mistake…we only had exactly enough bags for 1 per student).

Cut small snips along the bottom edges to create fringe if you like.

Tie a piece of yarn to the top hole on each side of the vest and lace it up!

I’ll post a photo of me playing dress up tomorrow.

Pinterest Can Inspire You To D-I-Y! (Part 2)

I’m on a full blown Pinterest bender.  Seriously.  This series will have a couple more installments to come…

Pinterest was practically made for disorganized creative types.  There’s actually an entire category for Do-It-Yourself project pins.  I’ve found so many crafty ideas that are on my to-do list…er…DIY pinboard!

Some I’ve already made…

Inspiration pin:

My version & tutorial:

Inspiration Pin:

The one I made for our 1st anniversary gift:

Here are some projects I hope to tackle in the future…

A dresser repurposed into an island

Tall cylinders, rubber bands & spray paint!

Fabric covered drawers for the craft room

What crafty things have you spotted on Pinterest?  Do tell & link up!!!

Not Your Grandmother’s Wreath: A Tutorial

I hate wreaths.  There. I said it.  They remind me of old ladies.  Since I’ve been introduced to Pinterest, I’ve seen some that I actually -dare I say it- like! I’ve seen some pretty cool D-I-Y wreaths while surfing the net and I sort of filed the idea away in the “I’ll make it someday” category in my brain.  Plus I bought a styrofoam circle a few months back just in case the mood struck 😉

Today was the day.  We were having guests over for dinner, I bought some new stuff for our bathroom and the blank wall behind the toilet was driving me  crazy for quite some time.  I bought a shelf a while back, but the way that the lights are in that room, any type of shelf created too harsh of a shadow.  So I decided to make a quick wreath.  Go figure.

Here’s how I did it:

I started with the styrofoam circle that was stuffed in the craft room closet.

I opened the drawer to my hoarding station, AKA my craft desk, and pulled out a spool of jute twine.

I tacked the jute to the styrofoam

I used styrofoam glue because I was nervous that hot glue wouldn’t work at first, but I’m sure it would be okay after making it. 

I spread the glue about a quarter of the way around the circle with my finger and only on the back side of it. I did 1/4 of the circle just in case the glue dried too quickly.

I wrapped the jute around and around…

Glue another 1/4 and keep wrapping

Repeat gluing & wrapping until it’s covered.

Now you’ve got an earthy yet sleek & streamlined base for your wreath. 

Now comes the fun part.  Jazz it up with whatever you like!  Buttons or bottle caps would look quirky & home-made, fake lemons would look cool in a kitchen, feathers would add some oomph, but I had some satin flowers lying around from a failed Finding Silver Linings Boutique project that I dreamed up (see the projects that made the cut  here).

I hot glued it on

What have you D-I-Yed lately? Do you love wreaths?  Do they remind you of old ladies?  I want to know all about it.

I Made An Apron Out Of A Napkin

Yeah, you read that correctly.  I can explain.

I am obsessed with sometimes check out Pinterest (pssst…see my pinboards here).  I follow lots of craft & D-I-Y boards to get my creative juices flowing.  I saw this photo pinned up.  

The caption was “Apron Made From Dish Towel”.  I love any project that involves repurposing (and I have an odd developing collection of aprons…don’t ask).  I quickly skimmed the article, and did what anyone with the attention span of a  6-year-old would do.  I looked at the pictures instead of reading the actual words.  What?  I was way too excited to waste time reading directions.

 I needed to make this. 

 Like, now. 

I got up from my computer desk, jumped in my Honda, and chirped out of the driveway.  Target, here I come!

I picked up this beauty for $2. 

Next, I held it up to me, folded the top corners down and stuck a few pins in to hold my place.

It should look like this…

I cut the excess fabric below the pins.

Fold the frayed, scraggly edge under and re-pin. 

Next, grab some fabric ribbon.  I cut 2 pieces about 18 inches long to tie behind my neck, and then 2 pieces about 24 inches to tie behind my back.  To stop the ribbon edges from fraying, I lit a candle and placed the edge of the ribbon close to the flame (not touching the flame).  I was shocked that the whole house didn’t go up at this point or that Mr. FSL didn’t find me doing this part, because he’d carry me out of the house in a straight jacket.  I digress… oh yeah, the ribbon.  So the edges of the ribbon will slightly melt, and thus no frayed edges. 

Do this to all of the ribbon edges.

After those were situated, I attempted to clear a space on my (hoarding pile of felt, chiffon, rhinestones, feathers, buttons…)  craft desk so I can find my sewing machine amongst the rubble.

It’s like frikkin Where’s Waldo in here!

Sew the pinned top corners down.

The short ribbons that will tie behind your neck attach to the top corners that are freshly sewn.  I used a box shape with an “x” in the middle.  It looks fancypants, plus it’s probably sturdy.

If you are new to sewing like me, here’s a little trick I discovered to make corners nice and neat.  When you reach the place that you want to create your corner, leave the machine needle mid stitch and still poking through the fabric.  Lift the presser foot up and turn the material to where you need it to be. Pop the presser foot back down, and voila!  A sweet, neat corner. 

If you aren’t a new sewer, and are a seasoned pro, stop laughing.

Seriously.

Hold the fabric up to you and see where you need the ribbons to tie.  I have the world’s shortest torso, so mine are probably sewn where your armpits are. 

Sew those babies on the same way you attached the neck ribbons (the box & the “x”).

**You should be finished here**

If you are like me, however, at this point, you just got super excited and put it on and danced around for 3 seconds until you realized that it doesn’t fit right.

 If I needed an apron with armpit flaps, this was the ticket!  But it’s not what I was going for.  Back to the pig sty craft room.

I pinned the flappy part down while it was still on (miraculously not stabbing my ribs) so I could be sure that this was going to fit. I took it off, then sewed the sides.

I was so happy I did a victory dance and shook my tail feather in my gym clothes!  

Not bad for a $2 napkin!  It would make a really cute housewarming gift if you put it in a basket with cake mix & a fun bundt pan or even paired with a pot holder.

New Window, New Curtains

I really didn’t want to put any curtains up on the new window.  I like the blissfully bare look on that particular one.  But last weekend, we realized that it might be nice to have the option to have a little privacy if we want it.

When I usually hang curtains, I hang them 6″ to 8″ above the trim and 8″ to 12″ wider than the trim to give the illusion of a larger window.   This one was different to me.  Since there is a transom (a smaller row of windows on the top) I wanted to highlight that since it’s a little snazzier than a plain old window.

I decided that a tension rod placed right below the transom would be a good place for it.  Sheers would allow for privacy and still let a ton of light in.  I spent a few hours (seriously) in the window treatment sections of Target, Bed Bath And Beyond, and a few other stores.  None of the tension rods were long enough for my window.  So, I improvised.  I bought a shower curtain tension rod. As for the curtains, I realized that I had a specific vision in my mind and I wasn’t going to find it in a store.  I was going to have to make these babies.

I was going to attempt to sew my own curtains.  This may not sound like a huge deal to most of you Martha Stewarts out there, but up until now, the most I’ve sewn was a few flower headbands and brooches!   But, I thought, how hard could it be?  Curtains are rectangles.  I could do this.

I drove to Joanne Fabrics and searched for the perfect lightweight, cheerful, white fabric.  I found it, then discovered that there was exactly enough left on the bolt for the curtains.  This may sound like a wonderful thing to most people, but to me it meant that there was ZERO room for error.  I wanted to buy a few yards extra, should I mess it up royally.  But, me being me, I decided to give it a shot anyway.

The first thing I did was figure out the dimensions I needed each curtain to be.  I added about 4 1/2 inches extra to the length for a small bottom hem and the pocket to put the rod through.  I added an inch to the width to allow for a small 1/2″ hem so it looked nice & clean.  Then I cut it that size.

Next, I measured 1/2″,  folded, and pinned the fabric vertically.

Then, I measured 3 1/2 inches from the top of the curtain and folded it to the back.  I pinned it, and sewed a straight line.

The last part to do was the bottom hem. In order to make it look more polished, I folded the fabric to the back 1/2″ then folded over again another 1/2″.  Pin then sew.  Easy peasy.

Slide these puppies onto the tension rod, put it in place, step back, &  feel like Martha Flippin Stewart while you realize you actually just sewed your own curtains 😉

Here’s what they look like when we don’t want the neighbors to see me eating my morning oatmeal in my ripped nightshirt & undies…

I didn’t like the way they looked when they were just hanging & open, so I concocted tie backs from silvery grey ribbons and push pins.

I pushed the pins into the corners so that way I wouldn’t put more holes in our walls.  I billowed the curtains out so they covered my ghetto tie back holders.

I know I’m far from a sewing pro, but I’m happy with the way they turned out.  I didn’t follow any directions, I just kinda winged it and got lucky.  I got over my fear of attempting a big(ish) sewing project…big as in big for me 😀

As of today, me likey.  Once my A.D.D. kicks in, I’m sure I’ll be switching things up.

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What’s the most ambitious thing you’ve ever sewn?  Are you a sew-a-phobe?  Let’s talk it out.

xo

Mindy

1st Anniversary Gifts & A Sentimental D-I-Y

Saturday we celebrated our 1st anniversary. We went swimming, out for a delicious Italian dinner (at the place that catered our wedding), ate our year old cake, then cracked open a bottle of Deleon Tequila (that we got as a wedding gift) and watched our wedding video. It was a perfect day 🙂

He bought me a really cute watch!  I love it!!

You guys know, I’m a sucker for packaging.  It came in an ice cube! How fun is that?!

I ended up giving him the speaker/ipod dock.  He really liked it.

I also made him a sappy gift, because I couldn’t help myself!  I saw this idea on Pinterest, and since we are going to Atlantic City to celebrate, I thought using a deck of cards would be a cute touch.

Here’s a peek inside…

We both like the idea of more thoughtful gifts.  I made & gave him something very similar for our 2nd Valentines Day, so it was a throwback 😉

 

 

There’s A Copy Cat In Cougar Town

I don’t watch TV unless it involves Anthony Bourdain, The Bachelor, Food Network, or the NY Giants.  So when my sister-in-law asked if I’d seen the “EAT” sign on Cougar Town, I had to say no.  She was gushing about how adorable it was.  I went home, googled it, and she was right.  It was really cute!  And totally D-I-Y-able.  She didn’t want to copy it completely, so being the amazing Italiana that she is, she wanted to have a “CUCINA” -the Italian word for kitchen- sign ala Courtney Cox –with an FSL twist of course!

We hit up Joanne Fabrics and bought some scraps and cardboard letters, then I went to work!

I had some Mod Podge – which by the way is fabulous and everyone should have a jar of it in their house or two (just in case, lol) and some small paint brushes.

I started with my first letter and placed it on butcher paper to protect the work surface.

Crack open that Mod Podge, grab a paint brush, and apply a fairly thin layer on a small section of the cardboard (about a 2″ square).

Next, place a piece of fabric on top of the sticky surface taking great care to make sure it’s smooth and wraps around to the back of the letter.

Now, the rounded parts of the letters were not easy.  I had to snip the fabric in a few places to ensure a snug fit.   It will look sloppy if the fabric isn’t perfectly smooth.

Once you’ve covered the entire letter, it’s on to the next one!

I stuck on a few strips of double sided mounting tape, measured the placement on the wall, and ended up with this.

She was really happy with the outcome, and I thought it was really cute.  Maybe I’ll make something like this for the empty wall in my powder room or on a blank wall in my living room…

Blue Desk Featured!

Eye spy with my little eye… um my blue desk makeover at 733!!!

Check that post out by clicking this lovely little button below.

Have a sparkling Friday!!

xo

Mindy

Good Will Lamp Re-Do

I’ve been looking for a set of lamps with a cool shape to put on my buffet console in my dining room.  Problem is they are a billion dollars for anything that I like.  Seriously?  I’m not paying $200 for lamps.  Period.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I found myself in the houseware section of Good Will looking for my next victim project.   These puppies were $6.99 a pop.

See…

I love the burlap texture of the lamp shades. Lucky for me it was student discount Tuesday!  I scooped up both of them for $10 total.  That’s my kind of price tag people.  I’m not a total cheapskate; I just feel like a sucker paying top dollar for something that I can make for a fraction of the cost.

These things obviously needed an update, so I hit them with a little spray paint primer first.

I followed that with 2 very thin coats of spray paint in “Heirloom White”.

These sat in our garage for weeks.  They didn’t look finished.  Hmmm…

*taps foot impatiently*

Until yesterday 😀

For those of you that follow me on Twitter (if you don’t, you can by clicking the cute little bird in my side bar —-> ) then you already know that I am completely out of control with these fabric flowers.  Like the past three days, that’s all I’ve been doing.  Cray-Zay.

I whipped up 8 fabric beauties, and pulled out the hot glue. (Rocco was chasing the fabric snippings that were blowing in the wind!)

I popped on the flowers one by one…

I arranged the rest of them on the shade.

2 Large and in charge lamps that match my dining room for ten beans.  Sweet.