My Entry in the Mystery Thrift-Off Challenge

For those of you that don’t follow me on Instagram (ummm…I’d love it if you did!) – I was lucky enough to be part of the Mystery Thrift-Off.  A crazy fun contest that Lindsey, of the blog Better After, dreamed up.  For more details on all of this contest madness – READ HER POST HERE. (while you’re there – you should browse – her site is FANTASTIC!!  SUPER INSPIRING!)

One day my hubby and I were just chillin’ on the couch on a Saturday afternoon…and suddenly there was a knock at my door.  I had a very SPECIAL delivery!!

Mystery Thrift-Off Delivery

I was super nervous to open this box – the letter she wrote me apologized profusely for how hideous and horrible it was inside…and I was supposed to make it fabulous.

Here’s what I found inside:

My Mystery Thrift-Off Item

Hello Mr. Shepherd.  What the heck am I going to do with you????  There was a significant amount of stewing.  I contemplated busting the mirror and making a mosaic, but it’s not really my style.  I could make a mirrored table…hmmm…possibilities.  I could make a serving tray that would also be a great conversational piece.  My sister threw this idea at me:

A distinguished German Gentleman

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

………………………………………………………………………………………………

It finally boiled down to: what could I make that I need?  We are in the process of moving kids rooms and my oldest daughter is first on the list to decorate hers.  She wants to do a teal and white room with gold accents, so I thought that I could use this mirror above her vanity table in her room!  She, as I’m sure most teen gals do, struggles with self-confidence.  She has a very unique personality and I wanted a daily reminder for her that she is unique and beautiful!!  I found the quote, and I had recently seen a tutorial on using Heidi Swapp’s new screen printing supplies, and I REALLY had been wanting to try them out.  So, I thought that this project would be the perfect platform!!

Mystery Thrift-Off Transformation

Here’s the process I used to transform my Mystery Thrift-Off item:

Step 1: I removed the silver frame and spray painted it gold.

Step 2: The dog had to go, so out came the razor.  It scraped off super easily using a little bit of an angle on the razor (thanks, mom!)

Mystery Thrift-Off Transformation

Step 3: I used the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Kit  to add the teal flowers to the border of the mirror:

Mystery Thrift Off Transformation using the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Kit

Mystery Thrift Off Transformation using the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Kit

Step 4: While the paint was drying, I designed the graphic and cut it onto vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo

(seriously – almost every project I create revolves around this machine!  If you don’t have one – GET ONE!! I don’t get paid to say that.  So you can trust me ;0)…ha ha)  If you can’t get one – you can always use an exacto knife!!)

Step 5: Using transfer paper – I transferred the vinyl to the mirror.

Mystery Thrift-Off

 

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 6: Remove the transfer paper.

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 7: I applied Heidi Swapp’s Gold Metallic Screen Ink {using the rubber scraper that came in the kit} to the vinyl.

**Tip** I thought that it would be pretty easy to apply the ink over the vinyl, because it was so easy applying the flowers over the screen.  But…it was a little trickier than anticipated.  Still possible – but trickier.  When using the screen – you want to scrape off all of the excess ink so that it has a smooth finish, and because the screen is between the mirror and the ink, you can.  Without the screen there, I had to lay the ink on pretty heavily, or the scraper would just take it right off of that spot.  So – if you’re using vinyl, go heavy on the ink.  In the end, I kind of like the textured look that it produced!

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 8: **IMPORTANT!** Remove the vinyl before the ink dries…otherwise you’ll be cutting around the ink with an exacto knife.  I learned this the hard way!!

Step 9: I wanted the YOU to stand out a little more – so I masked off the “BE” and the “TIFUL” with paper and the creative caution tape that came in the kit. (so cute!)

Then I sprayed just the “YOU” with gold Glitter Blast Spray:

Mystery Thrift-Off

Mystery Thrift-Off

Step 10: Peel off the vinyl and use the razor to clean up any mishaps and you’re done!

I just hope that this mirror sends subliminal messages to her every morning!!  {She is pretty beautiful, if I do say so myself.}

Step-by-Step instructions to transform a thrift store mirror into a beautiful vanity mirror with an important message every teen should have in their room!

Mystery Thrift-Off

And just for fun – here’s a close-up of that glitter!!  Love that stuff!

Mystery Thrift-Off

**AND**  Just because I like you so much, If you’d like to make your own, you can download the ‘beYOUtiful’ graphic as a PDF:

Glittered Download Button

or if you already have the Silhouette, you can download the cut file:

Glittered Download Button

It would also make a fabulous art print, if the mirror and screen printing route seems like WAY too much!  Just print and frame.  Easy peasy.

Mystery Thrift-Off Transformation

What NOT to do:

Ha Ha.  It was trial and error on this one…I’m not gonna lie.  Here are some things that I tried that just really didn’t work.  AT ALL.

1.  I thought I could do this using Gold Vinyl and Glitter Vinyl and skip the painting all together.  You could.  But, I tried it & it just looked a little chintzy.

2. I tried using gold spray paint instead of the Heidi Swapp Screen Printing Ink.  It dried too fast and peeled off with the vinyl.  And when I wiped it with a cloth – it rubbed off. Boo.

3. I tried sprinkling gold glitter onto the “YOU” instead of using the glitter blast spray.  It made a mess and rubbed off too easily.  The glitter is sealed in with the spray.  Much better.

 

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial!  Voting begins tomorrow, Thursday June 9th, Go take a peek at ALL OF THE ENTRIES and cast a vote for your favorite!

**Shameless Plug**

If this was the first visit to my site – I’d love to send new projects and inspiration right to your inbox!  If you’d like to subscribe – you can fill out the sidebar info – or simply CLICK HERE.

Thanks in advance!  I look forward to getting to know you!

**Erin

p.s. If you use the graphic in a project, please share your link in the comments!  I’d love to see it put to good use!

 

 

Be Sassy! {it’s for a good cause…}

Meet Sheila.  A.K.A. Sassy.

Sweet-Little-Sheila

 {okay – so she was a kid in this one – but it’s my favorite of her because she always made that face!}

Sheila

I first met Sheila several years ago while serving as Relief Society President in my church.  It is what it sounds like, a society of women that provide relief to those in need.  While it was time consuming and difficult there were undeniable blessings…Sheila was one of them.  I first started visiting her because her cancer from years before I met her had relapsed & I wanted to see how we could help.  And then I fell in love.

Her grandkids call her Sassy.  And she was…and I loved her for it.  My husband calls me The Mouthy Broad – so we became fast friends!  The scariest thing about this position was that I’ve always been afraid of sick people, and suffering, because I’m a control freak – and these things are out of my control.  I never felt like I knew what to say, or do.  If it was too much – if it wasn’t enough…

I didn’t need to worry about that with Sheila.  She just bossed me around, and I was happy to do her bidding.  I didn’t have to fret about what she might need, because she’d just tell me!  It was refreshing.  She and my husband liked to joke around with each other – she would tell him to do something and he’d give her a hard time, and she’d tell him that he couldn’t say no – because she had cancer.  So he lovingly called her “the demanding cancer patient”.

She loved my kids and they loved her. We had so many good times.  We took painting classes together, went to lunch, had sleepovers in the hospital & I even got to give her a sponge bath that I teased her about endlessly afterward.  I would tell her I’d seen her naked, so she couldn’t boss me around anymore – but she still would.  She was so loving and accepting of everyone that met her – I know I’m not the only one that was adopted by her.

The thing that made Sassy special was that anyone near her felt special.  I didn’t know her when she was a school teacher – but I can only imagine the impact that she must have had.  She was truly a choice spirit and Daughter of God.

When Sassy passed away last year – I felt like I’d lost family.  I felt a little lost and a little numb, after helping care for her for so long,  I felt kind of useless and didn’t know what to do with myself…but I wasn’t quite ready to move on either.  I went to a Relief Society meeting where one of our leaders, Henry B. Eyring,  shared a message entitled “The Caregiver”.  His entire talk was specifically about people going through what I had just experience.  It was an answer to heartfelt prayer.  In the talk, he said something that hit me like a ton of bricks:

“What comes next for willing hands to do?”

It may not seem like an earth shattering question – but it spoke directly to my heart.  While I missed Sheila greatly – I felt like this was a reminder of why we are here on this earth.  To bear one another’s burdens, to comfort those who stand in need of comfort.  To love others, even as our Father in Heaven loves us.  To serve one another.  I can only imagine that I’m not alone in this experience of “caregiver”, and maybe you have willing hands, but don’t know what comes next…

Sheila’s daughters felt the need to put their willing hands to work, and have come up with a WONDERFUL tribute to their sweet & sassy mama.  They have started a non-profit organization called Sassy Caps.  Their goal is to have people with willing hands {like me & you!} create soft, comfortable caps to keep chemo patients cute little bald heads warm using yarns that aren’t itchy or irritating.

This is just a network of volunteers – they have free tags that you can download to make it an “official” Sassy Cap.  Again, they are NOT selling caps or asking for money.  They are just trying to do something that they know their mother would LOVE!  I’m doing it for all of those that I’ve known and loved who have fought this battle before and are fighting it now.  It’s a way to show them that they are not alone, and that they are loved.  It was how Sheila lived her life.  Helping others feel accepted and loved – so it’s the perfect way to honor her and the people that YOU know and love that are like her!

I’ve made this WORD ART FREE DOWNLOAD for those that LIKE THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE, as a Thank You for supporting this wonderful cause and helping to spread the word!

{click on the image to download}

Free Printable Word Art

You can find all of the details on their website: Sassycaps.org

 

SassyCaps.org

 I hope that you’ll get involved – I’m sure that there is someone FABULOUS in your life that could use your support!

**Erin

My Chalkboard Calendar {Tutorial}

As promised in my Top 5 DIY Projects post – here is the tutorial for the chalkboard calendar in my command center.

With 4 kids involved in more than I like them to be – we need to have our lives mapped out.  The iPhones help A LOT – but I’m that mom that hasn’t let her kids have a phone yet…so they need to be in the loop, too.  We always have a breakdown of the week at our Family Night on Monday nights, and we all say what we’ve got going on and then….it goes up on the Family Calendar.

Chalkboard Calendar Tutorial

 

Sorry about the terrible photos – that area of my house has TERRIBLE lighting!!! {and I have no tripod!}

Chalkboard Calendar Tutorial

It’s big and beautiful and you can’t miss it!  I have a little command center right as you walk into the house {well…where WE walk into the house}, and right where we walk out of the door.

Command-Center

Backpacks, Lunchboxes, even our SHOES are stored here so that we always know where things are, and getting out the door is MUCH easier!!  The kids each have a bin to keep homework folders, Cub Scout books, etc.  It’s ALL HERE!  But, the Calendar is still the main attraction.  And the best part about it…it’s SUPER EASY TO MAKE ONE!

**If you don’t have this kind of wall space – you can make this in a MUCH more scaled down version – and even put it INSIDE OF A PICTURE FRAME if you’re not handy with the power tools!

Since I made this before my blogger days – I have no pictures of the step by step {SORRY!!!}  So – I’ve created graphic visual aids that I HOPE make sense!  Just make sure to read ALL of the instructions.  I know – not as easy as picture tutorials…

*I’m going to give you instructions for how I made mine – so if you’re doing a different size – just make the changes accordingly.

What You’ll Need:

**Sheet Metal – you can find it with the duct work materials (heat & a/c) at a Hardware store.  I wanted mine to be magnetic – so that I could just stick up party invites or appointment cards easily where they are very visible.  If you don’t care about it being magnetic, you could just use backer board found by the wood trim.

**Chalkboard Spray Paint – you could use brush on paint – but I wanted my finish to be smooth like buttuh.  No brush marks or drips for me!

**Primer – Again, I like mine in a spray can. :0)

**1/4″ Square Wooden Dowels – how many you’ll need will depend on the size of calendar you are making.  I used 16 of them :0)  It’s a good idea to buy a few extra sticks in case you have cutting errors.

**MDF casing molding – it’s already primed and ready for your paint!

**Caulk in a Tube – I find that if you’re not used to using a caulking gun – the tubes make it pretty easy to use caulk!

**Glue – I used my Hot Glue Gun.  I know…I could use something stronger.  I didn’t want to stand there and hold each piece on until it was set enough to let go.  AND it’s been up for 5 years with no issues…so there you go!  Just make sure the glue is REALLY hot!  No cold temp guns allowed! **you could also use caulking – since it’ll be hanging around the ‘job site’ anyway!**

**Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape – this is going to need to stay up for awhile.  You could also use Liquid Nails if you’d like…but you’d need a caulk gun :0)

How To Make It:

**I had a big wall to work with – so I chose to make my board 60″w x 46″h.  You will have to figure out what size of board you want to make and buy materials accordingly.**

Step 1:

Decide what size you want your calendar to be.  To figure this out – I knew that the sheet metal I wanted to use was 24″ wide – and I wanted to cut as little as possible – so I decided to make my calendar according to those dimensions.  I also wanted the dowels hide the seams of the sheet metal – so I made each “weekday” box 8″ wide to get 3 “days” per sheet of sheet metal.  The length of the sheet metal is 36″ – so by making each “day” 8″ tall – I could get 4 “days” down – leaving 4″ to put the days of the week at the top.  Perfect! Since there were 3 “days” across & 4 “days” down  per sheet and I needed 7 days wide and 5 days long – I knew that I needed 3 pieces of sheet metal.

Layout the calendar

I used the full 2 sheets with no cuts & cut the remaining piece into {3} 8″ strips.

Cut the sheet metal into thirds

So – I placed the 2 full sheets side by side and then I added one strip to the width to make my “saturday”, and the other 2 strips to the bottom.  Cut off any excess using steel snips.

Sheet Metal Layout

 

WHEW!!!  That’s the hardest part – I PROMISE!!!

Step 2:

Once your sheet metal is cut to size layout all of the pieces…

Prime it – make sure that you have even coverage and don’t stay in one place too long to avoid drips!

Paint it – with the Chalkboard paint – I like to use 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

*make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.  I put a drop cloth on my patio table outside.  It’s nice and open and the fumes don’t get to me.

Step 3:

Paint your casing molding the color that you want.  I used ‘Aged Beige’ Behr Primer and Paint in One.  This seems to be my favorite color these days!!

Set aside to dry.

Step 4:

Attach the sheet metal to the wall using Scotch Permanent Mounting Tape. (or however you’ve chosen to hang the metal)

*use a bubble level & a yard stick to draw straight GUIDE LINES on the wall at the height you’d like the TOP of your calendar to be.  Then use the level to draw guide lines for the SIDES.

*attach strips of the mounting tape to the backs of the sheet metal & then remove the plastic strip exposing the glue

*using the guide lines you’ve drawn – attach the sheet metal to the wall in the same pattern you chose to lay it out.  The mounting tape directions say to hold them in place for a set amount of time – make sure to read the time frame!  If you’re using liquid nails or another form of adhesive – follow the directions for use.

Sheet Metal Layout

 

Step 5:  Cut & attach the casing. (if you’re using a picture frame – you can skip this step and go straight to step 6)

Using a miter saw or a miter box – cut the casing as shown below to the length of your sheet metal layout. Don’t assume it is a certain length.  MEASURE TWICE & CUT ONCE!

cut linesAttach using a brad nailer if you have one.  {you could nail in finish nails and an awl, or use liquid nails, too!}

Step 6:  Add the dowels to make the grid

Once everything else is in place – use a bubble level to attach the dowels in a grid pattern that will make up the “days” on the calendar.

*I like to start with covering up the seams first.

-Cut the stick to where it won’t end in the middle of a “day”. For example:  My dowels were 36″ long – but I made my days 8″ square.  So, I would need to cut the dowel to a number divisible by 8.  So – I cut my 36″ long dowel to 32″ so I don’t have any seams where I don’t want them.

*start glueing (again – I used my hot glue gun…) the 32″ long sticks following the grid that you created to figure out the layout – so for me I placed them every 8″ across and to cover up the seams on the bottoms strips.

***the black lines are where you should be placing your dowels***

lay out the long dowels

Once you have the long dowels in place, you can start making the cuts for the short dowels.

*I like to roughly measure between the long dowels to make sure that they are straight and you SHOULD (in theory) be able to mass cut the short cuts.

But – I would cut maybe 3 sticks into your width length (for me it’s 8″) and make sure they are fitting before you go and cut up all of your dowels.

cut the short dowels

Glue them onto the calendar in this pattern:

Full Grid Layout

 

Step 7: PRIME THE CHALKBOARD!!!

I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is!

*You’ll want to turn a piece of chalk sideways and rub it in all over the chalkboard areas.

*Then use a dry cloth and erase it.

*If you don’t do this step – whatever you write on the board will never fully erase.  It needs that chalk as almost a sealer so that future chalk will wipe off.  That probably made no sense :0)

Ta- Dah!!!  You’re all done – now your kids can look and see what activities they have coming up & I have my life in front of me at a glance.  I love it!

Just as a side note:  I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again that I LOVE this chalk cartridge set from Allary.  I stick it on top of the frame so it’s always there handy if I need to add an appointment.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial!  I will take step by step pictures when I help my friend make hers ;0)

**Erin

 

 

Cascading Glitter Bunting Banner Tutorial

First order of business: Congratulations to the WINNER of our Blogiversary Giveaway:

Blogiversary Winner

Yay Ashlee!!  As a special THANK YOU to everyone that entered & so kindly helped spread the word about the blog – I’ll be showing you how to make the Cascading Glitter Bunting Banner that was in the party in a box!

*If you’re not the DIY type – you can just buy it all finished and delivered to your door HERE – don’t forget to use the special follower coupon code PURDUEAVE15 to get 15% off!*

For those of you that love a good project…let’s get started!

Cascading Glitter Bunting Tutorial

Step 1: Cut out your bunting. {if you need help with this – see THIS TUTORIAL}

               * I used Canvas Fabric {also called duck cloth or drop cloth} from Hobby Lobby.  You want to use a heavy weight fabric so that it

                   hangs well and doesn’t roll.  Rolling is no bueno.

Step 2: Put a thick {& I mean THICK!!!} line of Mod Podge across the top {wide, flat end} of the first flag:

Run a thick line of glue across the top

Step 3:  With a dry bristle brush – “PULL” the Mod Podge from the top to around 1/2 – 3/4 of the way down the flag.

* Don’t go back over the area that you’ve pulled.  You DO NOT want uniform thickness with the glue.  It needs to be in varying thicknesses to give it the ‘Ombre’ Effect.

IMG_1459

Step 4: Cover the ENTIRE flag with glitter.  You might think “but Erin, there’s no glue at the bottom!  Why glitter there?”  Some of the glitter will get trapped into the fibers of the fabric and we will seal it in the next step.  It makes the glitter “thinner” in some areas.   :0)

IMG_1460

Step 5: Lay the flags out in a well ventilated area (I actually DID have a drop cloth underneath – but took this picture later just to show you)

and spray with an acrylic sealer.  I like the Mod Podge Sealer– it doesn’t dull the glitter.

On-the-Table

Step 6:  Allow them to dry for the recommended time for your sealer

Step 7: Sew/hot glue your bunting to the ribbon of your choice.  {see my bunting tutorial if you need help with that}

Step 8: Step back and admire your handiwork then throw a party to show it off! :0)

Cascading Glitter Bunting Tutorial - purdueavenue.com

Yay for YOU!!

If you don’t feel like this is in your wheelhouse – you can always buy one all finished in my Etsy Shop!!

p.s. If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and have friends that might, too – don’t forget to share.  Sharing is nice. ;0)

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#9 {photo booths are all the rage}

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#8 {treat bags & gift tags}

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Our HOMEMADE Christmas

I hope that you all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  Ours was wonderful!  This year we took things down a few {okay, a few major} notches.  As I posted earlier, we needed to simplify Christmas this year and decided to make all of the gifts. {with the exception of clothes they needed & thanks to wonderful Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, Santa Claus brought them a gift that they wanted, too!}

But –  this post is to tell you all about the HOMEMADE part of Christmas.

I don’t mean to sound like a salesperson – but I couldn’t have done these projects without 3 things.

1. My sewing machine.

2. My Silhouette Cameo

{If you got one for Christmas but need to learn how to use it – you can sign up for my Online Silhouette Course HERE.  Class begins Monday January 6th!}

3. My Photoshop Skills.

self-paced-newbies-ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what we all made for each other:

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PINK FLUFFY PILLOWCASE

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My cute hubby made my 9 year old daughter this “pink fluffy” pillowcase.

She see’s them in the store and loves them and says funny things like:

“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die” – so he knew that it was the perfect gift for her.

{He was VERY proud of himself}

Fluffy-Pillow

That’s a dedicated dad :0)

 

Dedicated-Dad

 

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JAREDOPOLY

*********************

My husbands favorite game is Monopoly.  Our family has a not so good history with it.  I’m ashamed to say that the biggest fights in our marriage have been over Monopoly.  We were actually banished from playing it at his moms house.  I thought that maybe if I made a homemade version that had funny things to lighten the mood that we could play a friendly game.  So – I put my photoshop skills to good use and made him a JAREDOPOLY board.  I had so much fun thinking up clever Chance & Community Chest cards, talking to his mom to find out the places he’s lived for the properties (which she impressively remembered them all!) It was ALOT of fun!

Jaredopoly

 And even more fun when we played and I CRUSHED him Christmas Morning!  {although – he was so mad that he didn’t enjoy my funny cards :0(  There is a price that comes with Monopoly Domination.  Ho Ho Ho!}

I will post all of the details on making this board another day.  That would be an entire post on it’s own and I need some time to change the files to be generic for you to use!

But just be throwing around ideas for a board of your own.  I think that a LOVEOPOLY board would be SUPER FUN for Valentines!!

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HAND DRAWN i-Pod SKINS

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My 13 year old daughter has been wanting new ipod covers.  One day she will say “I want a minnie mouse ipod case” another day it was “I want a BYU iPod case” – so my 9 year old, who loves to draw, decided to make her these interchangeable skins to go inside this Clear iPod Case.  You can download the silhouette studio cut file HERE.

ipod-skins

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PVC Pipe Bow & Foam Tipped Arrows

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My 11 year old son is boy through and through – so we helped our 7 year old son make him this PVC pipe bow and arrow. (the “arrows” are wooden dowels tipped with cut up pool noodle)  We’ve seen them made with hula hoops – but we had extra PVC and 45 degree elbows laying around – so used those with a rubber band for the the string.  We now have 3 other kids that want one, too…so our work here is not done.

Bow-&-Foam-Arrow

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Constellation Flashlight

*********************

My 7 year old son has a hard time staying in bed – so we thought that something interesting to keep him there would be PERFECT!  I’ve seen these around – but decided to make more work for myself and make a set.  My 9 year old son got to learn how to use my Silhouette to make these.  He thinks he’s pretty cool now.

You can download the Silhouette Print & Cut File HERE.

Or print a regular printable HERE.  {Just cut out the big circles and use push pins to punch out the small constellation circles.}

Don’t want to mess with it, and would just like to purchase??  I’ve added them to the shop, and the low cost keeps them in the frugal category!

I put a tiny piece of double sided tape on the flashlight to hold the cards in place – but they still pull off easily.

Constellation-Flashlight

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SCREEN PRINTING FRAME HOLDER

*********************

I’m ashamed that I had to ask what this thing was.  My husband helped my 13 year old daughter make it for me.  Once I found out – I was REALLY excited!  I’ve been doing a lot of screen printing using my Silhouette to make the masks.  This will make my work go MUCH quicker!!  Very thoughtful!  LOVED IT!

Screen-Printing

The rest of the homemade stuff was all me.  And I had so much fun doing it.

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FROSTED MONOGRAM MUGS

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Hot-Cocoa-Mugs

I used the Silhouette to cut out vinyl to act as a mask – and then sprayed them with this frosted glass spray. (and I couldn’t help myself – I added a blast of glitter spray, too)

You could also use Etching Cream – but I had this spray on hand – so I used it, instead.

**If you use the frost spray – they MUST be hand washed!  If you want dishwasher safe – go for the Etching Cream!!**

{If you don’t have a Silhouette – you can use contact paper and an exacto knife.}

Making-the-Mugs

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Christmas Jammies

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Every year on Christmas Eve we have our fancy Christmas Dinner.  They each have a wrapped gift at the table, and it always has their Christmas Jammies inside.

We open the gifts and change into our Jammies and eat our super fancy dinner in them.  I love it.  I’ve never attempted making PJ’s before and was a little nervous.

I followed this SUPER EASY TUTORIAL and they turned out great!

The only changes to the tutorial I made were:

*adding the ribbon to the girls and a shoelace to the boys to look like ties. (in hindsight I would’ve used thinner ribbon)

*I didn’t make the pattern like she suggested.  I just eyeballed cutting around the sample and then used the first cut as a pattern for the second cut.

Luckily – I’m a fabric junkie – and have  A LOT of fabric hanging around.  Leftover from old projects – or projects that never came to fruition – however it worked out – I had ticking stripe fabric lying around – and thought that PJ’s would be the perfect use of it.

Christmas-Jammies

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Rosemary Place Card Wreaths

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For the dinner table – my sister in law shared some of the rosemary from her garden and I made these wreaths and place cards:

Rosemary-Wreath-Placecard-Holders

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Piñata 

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We also break a piñata on Christmas Eve – and they started last week making it.  I didn’t get a picture of the finished product – because, to be honest, it creeped me out.  It was supposed to be rudolph the red nosed reindeer – but it looked more like a brown rat with a red nose.  Not pretty.

If you want a tutorial on making a piñata – check out this post.

Making-the-Pinatas

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Homemade Tamales

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I used THIS RECIPE for the masa & some of my leftover TOMATILLO CHICKEN for the filling.  I even used the juices from the chicken to make a sauce to top them with.

I wish I could tell you how delicious these Homemade Christmas Tamales were…

BUT…I burned them.

Yep – they were all destined to be perfect.  I didn’t add more water to the bottom of the pan and before we knew it – the house filled with smoke and my favorite pan was scorched and our Christmas Tamales had a inedible smokey flavor and went into the trash.  Here is a picture of them all perfect going into the pot to their un-forseen demise.

Tomatillo-Chicken-Tamales

I was sad – until I had the idea to have cereal instead.  And then I was happy – because I love cereal!

I had a lot more plans – as you can see on my Homemade Christmas Pinterest Board – but not enough time.  But, regardless of having or not having a job next year – I’m definitely doing this again!!!

For a lot of reasons:

*got to teach the kiddos a few skills while we helped them make the gifts

*having them think of the idea {thank you pinterest!} & make it was WAY more exciting for them than picking out a gift in the store

*christmas morning seemed much more exciting – because they had their handiwork to show off & they were much more engaged while they opened gifts.

*the joy of giving really took center stage this year.  I think because they were more invested…

 

I hope you’ve been inspired a little bit to do this with your family. And I hope that you’ll share any links to great homemade Christmas Ideas in the comments section!

**Erin

 

Top 5 DIY Projects at My House

So…while I was hosting the Holiday Boutique last month, I had people asking me about projects I’ve done in my home.  A lot.  I think if I’d have been selling some of them, I would have done very well for myself.

Some people were trying to take things off of the wall to purchase – others sat with me awhile and picked my brain about how to do others.  It was super flattering!!

Then, I realized that I haven’t shared much of my home on this blog.  It was also suggested to me {A LOT} that I should.  So…that’s what this post will be…me sharing the things that people were loving about my house.

Some things I’ve posted about – others I made before I entered the world of blogging, so I saw no reason to take photos of the process.

I’ll link up to any tutorials that I HAVE done  – and get to work on ones that I hadn’t thought to do.

 

So…here are the top 5 DIY Projects that people were loving at my house.

Top-5-DIY-Projects-in-My-House

 

#1: My “Mud Room”.

This is the area that comes in from the garage.  I’ve built a chalkboard wall calendar {tutorial to come}, back pack hangers, and a “shoe shelf” area.

Command-Center

 

 This shoe shelf was made using the IVAR shelving system from IKEA.  {this was the 4th place I’ve used these shelves in my house!  I’ve also used them in my Roll Down Pantry Shelves and in my Playroom.  You can see them both in THIS POST.  And also in my new shelving/desk in my craft room {that post is in the queue!}

Here are the links to the different components.

SECTION SIDE UNITS (I used 4 @ $8 each)

LONG CENTER SHELVES (I used 3 @ $6 each)

SHORT OUTER SHELVES (I used 6 @ $4.50 each)

*I just cut each brace to the height I wanted.

*Make sure to cut them all from the same end (top or bottom) so that your peg holes line up for your shelving.  {we don’t want any crooked shelves!!}

*I painted everything in ‘Aged Beige’ by Behr Paint and Primer in One in a satin finish.  I like satin for my furniture painting.  It washes easily, but isn’t tacky.

*The table top for the shelf is just a piece of MDF shelving.  I wanted a little more detailing, so my dear old dad cut the corners fancy using my scroll saw.  I made a pattern by tracing the edges of my dining table.  I wish I’d taken a video of it.  He’s an impressive guy!

Shoe-Shelf

The Chalkboard Gigantor Calendar is a tutorial for another day :0)

Chalkboard-Calendar

 

 

#2: My Chalkboard Menu Wall

People were literally trying to take these off the wall to buy.  It made me laugh.  How do you politely say “back off, lady!” when something isn’t for sale??  ha ha.  This one, I DID do a tutorial for!  You can find it HERE.

Chalkboard-Menu-Wall

 

#3: My Store Bought Curtain Make-Over

Again, lots of oohs and ahh’s over these.  This was one of the EASIEST projects I’ve done – but gives store bought curtains a lot of class.  You can see the tutorial HERE.

 Curtain-Make-over

 

#4: My Picture Wall

My husband tells me that I’m “trigger happy” when I’m taking photos.  Them’s the breaks when you have cutie kids, I guess.  Needless to say, I have A LOT of photos.

I also love having my photos be the “art” on my walls.  It makes it feel more homey to me and gives the artwork more meaning.  So – my dilemma – I needed to display a lot of photos, but didn’t want to pay for

a bazillion picture frames.  Thus, this project was born.  This tutorial has been added to my project list.  Wait for it….

Photo-Wall

 

#5: My Fireplace Mantle

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made this mantle.  I was blogging at that point.  WHY, OH WHY did I not take pictures of the process??  Silly.

Lucky for you, I have 2 other fireplaces that need to be “mantled” – so I’ll be a better girl and take photos of the process for you.  It was actually quite simple.

Fireplace-Mantle

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few peeks at my house.  There’s more to come.  Watch for the tutorials, too!  If you aren’t a follower – make sure that you become one to get these tutorials sent right to your email!

Enjoy!

Erin

 

Ice Cream Party Games

Who doesn’t love a game of bingo?  And you can’t go wrong with cards this cute!!

Candy Bingo Card Printables

 

 

You will need:

Candy for each player (at least 25 pieces – we used jelly beans but would suggest smarties for younger children so they don’t roll around)

Bingo Cards DOWNLOAD OUR VERSION HERE  {the original images are from THIS WEBSITE – we just gave them a makeover)

Picture Squares (The first page of the printable PDF has the pictures that you cut out )

To Play:  (just in case you don’t know how)

Print and Cut the Sweet Shoppe Bingo Cards onto card stock (you can laminate them if you want them to survive for re-use)

Give each guest a card (there are 16 different cards in the file)

Draw from the Picture Squares

DSC_1569

 

Have guests place a marker (jellybean) on the square of the image that was called

DSC_1565

 

Once they have 5 in a row  – they yell BINGO!  And then they get to pick a prize from the prize bowl!  There were enough prizes for everyone to get BINGO – so you just continue play until everyone has had a chance to choose their prize.  We kept the prizes to things under $1. Some prize ideas include:

nail polish

ice cream flavored lip gloss

jump rope

fingernail stickers

bubbles

 

We also played pin the scoop on the ice cream cone.  I just enlarged the cone, scoops and cherries from our Party Invitations to fit on a 12×12 sheet of paper.

Each girl got their own color of scoop so that we could see who got the closest to win the prize!  Of course, we had 2 cherries for the 2 birthday girls to stick on the top!

DSC_1574

 

DSC_1584

 

 

Very easy & affordable games – and the girls had a GREAT TIME!

Friday I’ll show you the food we ate and the darling goodie bags the guests were able to take home!!

 

p.s. If you’re like me and love BINGO for every occasion – check out the holiday BINGO cards in my Etsy Shop.  OR – I’m happy to design a set for your next big shindig!  Just convo me and we’ll figure it out ;0)

 

 

Jewelry So Cute…You Could EAT IT!

One of the activities for the Ice Cream Party was letting the girlies make this DARLING candy jewelry.

Rings

Candy Jewelry Design

 & Earrings

Candy Jewelry Earrings

Here’s a closer look at the Candy Jewelry Supplies: (sources listed below)Candy Jewelry Station

What we used:

1. Crushed Rock Candy (just crush up some of the extra swizzle sticks we used in their glasses when setting the table)

Crushed Rock Candy

2. Large Gumballs (these colors were found at Hobby Lobby, but you can also get them separately on Amazon: pearl shimmer gumballs)

3. White Pearl Shimmer Sixlets Candy

4. Pearl Bright Pink Sixlets

5. ring blanks

6. Earring Blanks

Candy Jewelry Hardware

 

What you’ll Need To Assemble:

1. Items listed above

2. A Glue Gun w/Temperature Control set to cold glue  (or a few of them to speed things along)

 

How to Make Them:

For the Earrings – just put a dab of glue on the earring blank, and let them place their candy of choice. (the rock candy was my favorite!!)

For the rings – just add glue as needed for whatever candy they’re trying to add.

 

And don’t forget the darling Jewelry Jars that they can take their creations home in!  Click HERE for the tutorial & Resources

Ballerina jewelry jar with chalkboard label

 

The girls had a wonderful time making these!!

Bling Bling

 

Come back Wednesday for the games we played!

**Erin

P.S. To see more posts from this party, click on the Ice Cream Party tag below

 

Ice Cream Party Tablescape

 

Silly Silly Me!!  I planned on having a party recap for today’s post – and I stewed and fretted about sticking so much information into one eternally long post.  { Thus, the late hour of my post }  I still wanted to show you the games we played, the food we ate, the cute table that we ate them on – so I’ll have to continue the posts into next week as well.  This really was a GREAT party!  {I guess this is what happen when you have a mother that goes overboard X 2!!}  So today – I’ll post about the DARLING tablescape!

Here’s a view from the top:Ice Cream Party Table Setting - purdueavenue.com

 

And here are some closer views at the cuteness:

The Place Settings

Ice Cream Party place setting - purdueavenue.com

 

 

The Tablecloth

Randi made using THIS darling blue chevron fabric.

At each place setting:

Plate, 4 inch doily, Ice Cream Sundae Cup, Spoon

Napkin (Randi made them, and they were DARLING!) held with a candy necklace wrapped around twice and twin cherry lollipops.

You can find a similar fabric for the napkins HERE, and she trimmed them with tiny pom pom ribbon.

Glass with Pink Swizzle Stick, Blue Striped Paper Straws, and Cherry Limeade Yummy Straw Tag, and a candy bracelet around the bottom of the glass.

Cherry Limeade Straw Tags - purdueavenue.com

 

Ice Cream Scoop Place Card (You can see the tutorial HERE)

Ice Cream Party place card - purdueavenue.com

 

 

We gave each girl a glass “jewelry jar” to take home the candy jewelry they made. (more on the jewelry later!)

Ballerina jewelry jar with chalkboard label

What you’ll need:

Crystal Glass Jelly Jars

Pink Spray Paint (or preferred color)

Ballerina Cake Topper

Chalkboard Stickers

Hot Glue Gun

Chalk Marker

How To Make It:

1. Remove the lid & spray paint them the desired color

2. Once the lid has dried, use a hot glue gun to put a ballerina cake topper in the center of the lid.

3. Write the names on the chalkboard labels using the chalk marker

4. Attach the label to the front of the jelly jar

DONE!

Chalkboard Place Mat

Chalkboard Place Mats

 

Love those adorable chalkboard placemats?  Wanna know how easy they are to make??  It’s just black card stock, a chalk pen and a circle punch!

Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

Black Textured Card Stock

Chalk Marker

1.5″ Circle Paper Punch (or some scissors)

How to Make:

Step 1: Punch the corners using the circle punch (or find something round, trace onto the paper, then cut out with scissors)

Step 2: Using the chalk pen, draw a border about 1/2″ inside the paper.  If you’re not comfortable freehanding it – just use a ruler for the edges and something round for the ticket stub part.

DONE!  See?  I told you it was easy!

Next week  I’ll show off the decorations, activities & food.  You’re gonna love it!!

**Erin