Show Us Your Life: DIY

DIY and I are tight. Like peanut butter and jelly, pancakes and syrup, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King kinda tight. BFF's forever and a day. I'll craft until the wee hours of the morning and STILL happily wake up at the crack (do you know how hard it was to not put 'butt' before that?!) of dawn to do some more. Since I was little I've loved a good craft project and ever since I started teaching and found Pinterest I've indulged in this love more than ever before. Just ask Carl. Ha! 

With all of that said, it's probably no surprise that I very nearly peed my pants with excitement when I saw that one of Kelly's SUYL topics this month was DIY. HELLO BAZILLIONS OF ADORABLE CRAFTS IDEAS! Overload me! I am ready to link up, learn new things and bore the daylights out of my husband by asking if he minds if we 'quickly' (we all know it's never quick...) pop into AC Moore and Michael's again next weekend. Let's get this party DIY party started!

Over the years there have been many little activities I've attempted. Some of them were awesome sauce, some of them were not. Over the last year I've had a go at Quilling, making my own inexpensive necklace board and Pinterest-Valentines-ing our English apartment. But more recently, last weekend to be exact, the DIY crafting bug bit me in the ass (always around Valentines day!) and I just couldn't help myself. I made time (this being the key word here. 9 times out of 10 you just don't have the time to concoct all of those fantabulous ideas), made a list, bookmarked my inspirational Pinteresters and headed to purchase the necessary materials.

By noon last Saturday I had returned home with a stash of goodies.
 The goal?
To create 3 specific things:
1) A pair of decorative (Valentines) jars (I intend to change these up for every holiday)
2) A cute chalkboard for the kitchen counter.
3) Burlap 'LOVE' bunting.

Was I successful? You bet your ass. 
Wanna know how I did it? Cop a squat, sip some tea and peruse on down.
Decorative Holiday Jars
You see these everywhere - everyone has them in some way shape or form. Adorable glass vases or apothecary jars filled with candies, marbles, sand, gems, coffee beans, grains...the list is endless. I've admired them for so long and always wanted to make my own. Finally, last weekend, I made it happen.  While I plan to purchase more 'luxurious' and grand glass jars at some point down the road, these little clearance sale gems will fit the bill in the meantime. After all, how can I complain when they were only $3 a pop? Best part of this whole project was how inexpensive it was. In total I spent a whopping $10.50. 

Wanna make your own? You'll just need 3 things:
1) Glass Jars (I got mine on sale at AC Moore but I've seen beautiful ones at Michael's. I'll also be popping into my local Goodwill store at some point in hopes of scoring some extra glasses/cake stands/vases/decanters for a great price. One mans trash Amanda's treasure!)
2) Ribbon (this I Love You ribbon was in the clearance bin for 50 cents. Holla!)
3) Conversation Heart Candies (WalMart had a deal where you buy 2 for $4!)
Homemade Chalkboard
This is something else I'm sure you've seen floating around the web. Chalkboards. Eventually once the hubs and I have little kiddos and, are somewhere permanent, I plan to paint an entire section of a wall with chalkboard paint so that my little love bugs can let their creative juices flow (in an appropriate manner). But in the meantime, I'm content with this cute little display chalkboard I was able to recreate for a whopping $8.
Thank you, WalMart!

It was unbelievably simple to conjure up and took me a total of 30 minutes to paint (minus the drying time, obviously). If you're interested in creating one, this is what you'll need!

1) An inexpensive sanded board (or silver platter, plate or picture frame you picked up for 50 cents at Goodwill. Whatever it is should be flat (obviously). Feel free to be creative! I bought this board for $4 at WalMart but I plan to head out to my Dad's wood scraps (he's a carpenter so they're should be a good finds) and salvage/create a few more diamonds.
2) A foam paint brush and normal bristle paint brush.
3) Chalkboard paint (you can get this EVERYWHERE now)
4) Acrylic gloss paint for the outside 'frame.' (they sell this for 99 cents at Walmart and it worked beautifully.
The process is pretty straightforward: you paint the board with chalkboard paint - be sure to use a foam paintbrush in order to avoid bristle marks - they're a pain in the butt to write on with chalk once the paint has dried. Allow dry. Apply a second coat of your chalkboard paint. Allow dry. Paint 'frame' with acrylic gloss paint (I used a normal bristle brush for this). Allow everything to dry overnight. 
Voila! Bob's your Uncle!
Burlap Bunting
The hubs and I are currently house sitting for some friends so I'm afraid the 'finished product' picture of my bunting is gonna have to be a no-show. I forgot to take a picture of it's completed state before we left home. Now technically I could run home to take a photo, but we're currently in the process of getting snowed in by none other than winter storm Nemo (I still think this is the DUMBEST name for a blizzard). Somehow it doesn't seem sensible to make the 20 minute trip on yucky roads. I promise to update once I can.
Disclaimer complete. Carry on.

I'm one of those people who has an obsession with bunting. Not only do I think it's so cute and easy to  make, but it is capable of instantly dressing up any lackluster room. So when I saw this picture floating around Pinterest a couple of weeks ago I immediately began day dreaming of the day I'd create my own. 

Last Valentines I had a ball creating my own paper bunting using this bunting template, so again I planned to use that in order to cut my burlap triangles. After all, paper bunting is notoriously similar to fabric bunting - and if you're sewing machine illiterate (like myself) fear not. Bust out that handy dandy hot glue gun and you're good to go.
 What you'll need:

1) Burlap (I got my roll for $7.49 from WalMart and there's still a TON left!)
2) REALLY GOOD sewing scissors! I found out the hard way that burlap is a royal pain in the ass to cut with normal kitchen scissors. It's too course and will not only dull your kitchen sheers, but your triangles (and hearts, should you choose) will come out crooked and frayed without that crisp sharp defined edge.
2) A sharpie
3) Fabric Mod Podge (at all craft stores)
4) Fine Glitter
5) A paint brush
6) Ribbon or twine for stringing 
7) A hot glue gun

Again, this project was relatively simple, albeit time consuming (which never bothered me because I did the cutting as the Super Bowl was on. Also, I chose to make 3 different bunting pieces). First you'll need to (using your bunting template) mark out your triangles on your burlap (in essence you'll end up making a long rectangle which has triangular zig-zags down the middle). I also chose to cut some hearts, as I'll be putting a heart on either end of  LOVE. Using your sharp-as-hell sewing scissors cut out your bunting triangles and arrange them over a coardboard box (or something you don't mind covering in glitter and mod podge). Using a Sharpie I free handed my letters on each triangle, but you could just as easily use a stamp or stencil. Once you've marked your letters, paint/trace over the sharpie with fabric Mod Podge and, like a 5 year old at Grandma's house, glitter-it-up! Once you've repeated this process for all of your letters, shake off the excess glitter (be sure your cat isn't anywhere near you during this process (I learned this the hard way. Poor Bobbi Jo was covered in red glitter for the remainder of the weekend) and allow them to dry overnight. The following day, using your hand-dandy hot glue gun, glue the ribbon (whatever length you choose - remember the longer the ribbon the more your bunting will 'sag') to the back of your triangles. (I folded the top of the burlap triangles over the ribbon and glue to ensure the bunting would last longer).
Allow to dry, admire your art-work, select it's pride of place and display for the world to see.

Since the burlap roll was rather generous, I have quite a bit left after creating my bunting. My next  DIY plan of attack is to create an adorable Valentine's wreath that is somehow a crossbreed of two beauties
We'll see how that one pans out. I'll be sure to take completed photos this time. Pinky swear.

Been a DIY queen lately? Link-up and share! :)


  1. I want a burlap wreath!!! You could just change out the bow every season. I love the one with the initial in the middle. Cute stuff Twinnie!

  2. I love everything burlap! I wish I was a better DIY-er!

  3. I love all your projects! I have three apothecary jars I switch out for holidays and I don't know how I didn't think of conversation hearts! Great idea that I'll be using next year:) I also have tons of burlap left from our wedding and LOVE bunting so I'll be making that as well. Thanks again for posting.


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