Category: Diy

GeneralDIY: Wine Cork Coasters

All right, winos; this blog is for you! 
 
For the last four years or so, I have been avidly collecting wine corks, poaching them from my parents’ kitchen, my friends’ recycling bins, and restaurant tables. By the time last November rolled around, I realized that I had quite the stash and it was time to do something with them. After a bit of Google crafty research, I stumbled upon the idea of creating (drumroll, please) . . . 

 
 
Because I was making these for Christmas presents, I did this over the series of several weeks and numerous hours in front of Netflix. However, it’s a super easy project, and the only thing you have to wait on is glue dry time.
 
What You Need
 
  • 8 corks for each coaster
  • Really good glue (I suggest wood glue or tacky glue; hot glue doesnt hold strong enough and it leaves a chunky mess)
  • Cork matting
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon (Optional)
  • Heavy books or other weight
 
 
 
What You Do
 
Step 1:  Glue together the corks two at a time. You want them to be roughly the same width and as close to the same length as possible. Do this to all of the corks so that you have four sets of two corks. Let dry.
 
 
Step 2:  Glue the sets of two together. You can either alternate the directions or have the corks all facing the same way. Glue together and let dry. On the left, you can see that I used plastic corks; on the right, I used real cork. Both options are fun to work with, but I won’t lie:  the plastic ones are usually way more consistent in same-sizeness.
 
 
Step 3:  Measure a square of cork matting that is just barely smaller than the bottom of the cork coaster. (To be honest, the square below is probably a bit too small; you probably want it a little bit bigger, but as long as it gets the bottom flat, that’s what counts.) Cut it out, and glue it to the bottom of the coaster to create a flat base. (Note:  my cork role had a “sticker” base that I tried to use at first, but don’t be fooled:  it pops right off. I just put glue on top of the sticky, and it held that way.) Cover with a heavy book or other weighted object to glue the matting firmly in place.
 

Step 4:  Ta-da! You’re done. If you want to make a cute gift, sign the bottom of two coasters with the date and your name and wrap them together with a bow.
 
 
Tip:  Another fun twist on this is to make trivets for hot plates and pots. I bought $1 wooden picture frames from Michaels, flipped them over, and glued corks in cool batterns all along the frames. I also glued some corks directly onto the bottom of the glass of some picture frames for another twist, like it the one I made below. I’ve already used mine for pots of pasta! 
 
 
Ready to try your hand? Pop open a bottle and get started!

FashionDIY: Make a Peplum Top Out of Your Old Dress!


There are a variety of reasons you may want to revamp that old dress of yours; you’re getting tired of it, you want a new look, or the dress is actually torn or stained along the bottom. This method is really quite easy, and peplums are so hot right now you’ll be on-trend in no time!
1. Start with a dress that has a fitted or elastic natural waistline*.
*Your natural waistline is usually the narrowest part of the abdomen, a few inches above the hips.

2. Spread the skirt and make a rounded cut about 7″-10″ below the waistline. 
3. Finish the hems by using the straight stitch on your sewing machine OR create an invisible, hand-stitched hem using the following slip-stitch.
 
Creating a slip stitch: (in general you will want to hem the lining separately.)
A. Iron or pin the hemline flat about 1/2″ on the inside of the garment.
B. Use a single thread that matches the color of your garment. Sew up and down evenly as shown below, making sure not to gather the fabric. Your long stitches will be on the underside of the garment, leaving tiny (nearly invisible) stitches on the outside!
 

Now all you have to think about is how you’re going to style your new top!

ArtAny Scrabble Lovers Out There?

 
It’s no secret that I have a thing for Scrabble. Ever since days-long marathon games in college, I’ve harbored a secret addiction to this frustrating-yet-brainy game. AND THEN. They invented Words with Friends. Mobile Scrabble I can play whenever I want? Um…yes, please. This game will take over my life! And the world! (Are you pondering what I’m pondering, Pinky?)
 
In the spirit of promoting nerdiness wherever I go, I decided to see where else these lovable letters have migrated…
 
to the bed…
 
 
 
…on your sleeves
 
 
across your nails…
 
 
…a beverage, please!
 
 
There’s always time…
 
 
…to eat a treat
 
 
or make a toast…
 
 
…to love so sweet!
 
 
I am secretly inspired now to go out and make a ton of cool crafty things with Scrabble tiles. When you can pull yourself away from your next WWF move, check out craftster.org for some sweet DIY Scrabble projects you can make at home!
 
Nerd on!
 
(Pics courtesy of Pinterest, We Heart It, and Google Images. Awesome poem by me.)

GeneralDIY: Transform Your Ugly Christmas Sweater

When it was announced that we were having our very own ugly sweater day in the warehouse, I decided to do a little tinkering with this awesome “Mistle Toads” sweatshirt. In the style of some of the oversized, off-the-shoulder tops we carry here, I picked up my scissors and went to town. This method is easy, quick and no-sew, and will last at least a few wearings without hemming the edges.
If you want to get a little more advanced, you can create a matching bow from the leftover sleeves. With the sweater AND the bow, this project took me about 12 minutes. Serious.
So let’s start with another Xmas culprit:
1. Cut off one sleeve to desired length. Start long and work your way up if you have to.
2. Fold the sweater in half, match up the sleeves and cut the other sleeve using your first as a template.
3. Cut out the neckline. Start by cutting just below the ribbing or your neckline may get CRAZY BIG!
4. Rid yourself of that unflattering cinched waistband. Again, cut just above the ribbing; if you want it even more cropped, cut higher.
Now you have a cozy, more contemporary look.

To make the bow you will need to sew, but if you’re at all handy with your sewing machine, or nimble with your thimble, this won’t be a problem.
1. Cut out the following shapes by folding your leftover sleeve ends in half. You will need two of the bow shapes and one rectangle.
2. Place the bow shapes wrong sides out and stitch along the edge, leaving about 1 1/2 inches open in the very center.
3. Turn the bow to right sides out.
4. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise (wrong side out) and stitch along the side.
5. Turn the tube right side out.
6. With the seam facing you, wrap the tube around the middle of your bow and sew the end together. Twist so the seam is now on the inside.
7.Use bobby pins to pin this bow into your hair, or sew on a hair clip if you’d like!
 
 xoxo

General4 Cute and Easy DIY Ornaments!

 
 
Every year, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I rush to take out my holiday decorations and begin to spread the holiday cheer. There is nothing like decorating on the weekend while listening to Bing Crosby and planning your holiday baking. Every year I make a new ornament for my tree, and it’s become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I love homemade ornaments not only because they are unique, but because they add a special feeling to each tree. I came across some pretty amazing ideas, check them out!
 
 
 
  • This is super easy! All you need is spare yarn, thread and clear ornament blubs. You can manipulate the yarn and string by braiding, knoting, or just bundling. Stuff it into the clear bulb, seal, and you’re done. Be sure to use different colors of yarns and string to give it that extra pop! 
  • You can take newspaper or magazine clippings to create a collage with Mod Podge on ornaments. It is a really simple and fun craft to do with family, friends, and little ones. All you do is apply a layer of Mod Podge on the ornament. Take the clippings and place them on the glue. After you let it dry, coat a layer of Mod Podge all over the ornament. Before it dries, you can sprinkle some glitter to add that extra sparkle. Or, if you love the example above, wait until it dries and you can paint your own image!
  • Simply take a holiday themed cookie cutter and place it on a decorative paper a photo you love. With a pencil, trace around the surface of the cookie cutter. Use scissors to cut out the shape and glue it to the back of the cookie cutter. These beauties are perfect because they add a quirky, yet special personal touch to the tree.
 
  • Get some clear ornament bulbs and squirt about a teaspoon of paint inside. I like to use two or three different colors. Then cover the opening with your thumb and shake the bulb. Or, if you want to take a little more time, drip your paint down the inside, and tilt to move the paint and give a drip effect. This will bring a lot of color to your tree!

And don’t forget…
 
 
xoxo