Category Archives: Crafts

I Left My Heart In Minnesota… sort of.

Time commitment: 15-30 minutes
Cost: Free-$15, depending on how many supplies you need to buy
Ease of activity: 7/10
“Re-Pin” Worthiness: 9/10

They say that there are 2 seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction. While I love the summers here, I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of the cold and snow that comes with almost half of the year. As I prepare for graduation in May and look at finding a job, I find myself attracted to Washington DC and all it has to offer in the realm of political communications. I love the area and can not wait to transition into living away from home for the first time (because let’s be honest an hour away from home for college is really not being totally “away.”) However, I will always be a Minnesota girl at heart. The fishing off the end of the dock, wakeboarding, swimming, snowboarding and snowmobiling will always be fond memories, even while I’m climbing the ladder in our nation’s capitol. I decided that this week would be an appropriate time to make the below pin, so I have something to take with me when I move!


How adorable are these?! As you may have read, I’m kind of in love with glitter… so I was really looking forward to this craft! Here’s how I did it.

Construction/scrapbooking paper
A print out of your state (an outline works great!)
Glue (I used Mod Podge because apparently I don’t own Elmer’s glue)
A brush to smooth out the glue
A frame (if you want to, not necessary)

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I cut out the outline of Minnesota and then covered it in Mod Podge. I then dumped glitter onto it and pressed it down.

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While that was drying, I cut my background paper down to the size of my frame. I also cut out a tiny little heart to glue on in over the area of my hometown. Once the glitter was stable, I Mod Podged it onto the background and also placed the heart. It turned out pretty well!

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Have you ever moved far from home? Across the country? What advice would you give me as I prepare to make my move?

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Easy Custom Mugs!

Time commitment: 1 hour
Cost: $1-$10, free if you already have the mugs and markers
Ease of activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 10/10

If you love coffee and tea as much as I do, which is a lot, then you probably have your fair share of mugs to drink out of. However, I don’t think you can ever have too many mugs! When my mom did this craft with our middle school youth group last night because someone donated a ton of mugs, I asked if I could nab a few. I later found a tutorial on pinterest and tried it for myself!


I loved the chevron pattern that the tutorial used, so I decided to recreate it and also try something more colorful. For the chevron, I used tape to make the vertical lines straight. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the fact that I needed to have an even number of columns in order to make the lines line up (since each column’s lines switch directions), but I ended up making the handle black and scribbling in space on either side of it. I actually ended up liking how it looked!

2014-02-13 20.47.57 2014-02-13 21.25.43 2014-02-13 21.25.53I loved how this one turned out! Even though the lines weren’t perfect, I think it looks great. The imperfections are just part of the charm!

Next I tried something less geometric and decided a tree with colored leaves would look sweet. I put on the pink, then purple and finished up with the blue.

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The mix of colors blend well and look awesome. I also put a quote on the back. 

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Once you’ve finished drawing, you place the mugs in the oven and turn it on to 350 degrees. It’s SUPER important that you let the mugs warm up with the oven. Leave the mugs in for 30 minutes and then let them cool down with the oven as well. After they cool you can pull them out and enjoy!

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Lamp Lift

aadab2afd0a8e50dc6689d20c762630f  I gave my lamp a new look by trying this pin!  The concept is simple-spray paint the base of a lamp and recover the shade.  You will need; a lamp post, lamp shade, spray paint, and fabric.  I chose navy spray paint as my base, and cute blue and white fabric to cover the shade.

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Please forgive the backdrop of my pictures.  I had to make my craft in the laundry room!

Before you began your spray painting remember to tape portions of your lamp you don’t want painted.  I taped the cord and top of the lighting fixture.  The pin instructions recommend sanding down the post with some sandpaper.  I skipped this step but I did wipe it down well and make sure that there wasn’t any dust or rough edges.

After my first coat of spray paint I turned to the lampshade. The covering for this shade is really easy because it does not fit perfectly to the shade itself.  It has a drape effect which is easier to achieve!

photo 50photo 53Cut a rectangle swatch of fabric as long as the base of your lampshade.  Place a thin line of glue along the edge and adhere to the inside of the shade.  While letting that dry put another coat of paint on the post.

I did three coats of spray paint on my post and that covered everything well.

The top of the lampshade is a little trickier.  I folded my fabric over creating five little pleats around the shade.  I then carefully glued the fabric to the inside of the shade.

After everything was fully dried I put my lamp together! I really like the finished product.  The pin instructions were easy to follow and it only took me a half hour to make!  I would recommend using this pin to recover your lamps.

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Spreading Handmade Love

Homemade Valentine Card

IMG_20140206_193042_824Time commitment: 10 mins
Cost: $3-$4; or use old scraps of paper like I did and it’s free
Ease of activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 9/10

Well, it’s that time of year again. And by that, I mean it’s the time of year when roses are $350 a dozen and chocolates in the shape of hearts are more populous than China.

No, I’m not bitter that it’s Valentine’s Day. But just don’t expect a non-sarcastic answer to anything said on Friday. I apologize in advance; it’s been a long week.IMG_20140206_192339_800

Anyway, February 14 doesn’t have to be a day where all the single people sharpen their pitchforks and go into hiding from all the twitterpated people in their midst. You can still spend the day spreading love.

IMG_20140206_193520_450Last week some of my friends and I decided to make valentines. I had seen a photo on Pinterest of a homemade valentine that I wanted to try and give to a friend of mine. The original was cute, but I knew I could do better. Adding a little newspaper behind the colors gave it a more rustic, hipster look.


Jane’s Valentine

The process was simple and quick and I ended up with a lovely card for friend. My 6-year-old friend Jane liked my idea so much that she tried it too. You know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Takeaway: Valentine’s Day can be annoying. But take the opportunity to share love to a friend with a handmade gift or card.

 You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
~Victor Hugo Les Misérables

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Recover. Reuse.

TOMS-DIY-103_edit-470x260 America is a land of consumers.  When something is worn out we replace it instead of mending it.  Often, it doesn’t even seem worth it to re-purpose something when we can replace it so quickly.  However, I challenge you to reuse items you already have.

My pin for this post was pretty ambitious. I’m not extremely creative and recovering my Toms seemed like a pretty steep challenge.  After two years of wear and tear, these Toms were pretty worn out.  I took the leap and decided to re-cover them!

photo 31photo 32To begin you need; Toms (0r other shoes you want to recover), fabric glue, a good scissors, and fabric of your choice.  The basic concept of recovering is to follow the the natural fabric of the shoes.  Start in the front and work your way to the back.  I folded over the edge of the fabric into the shoes because I wanted to create a clean look. Making the slit for the elastic was a bit tricky. I eyeballed it and it turned out okay. photo 37photo 33

The hardest part of recovering the shoes is the back.  While you could cover the Toms logo, I wanted to leave mine on. I measured, cut around the logo and glued it on.  It didn’t turn out perfectly but the pin instructions didn’t give a better way to cover the back of the shoe.

photo 41photo 39I know you’ll want to wear your shoes right away but make sure you allow your shoes to dry for at leastphoto 45 24 hours after they are finished!

I was satisfied with the way my Toms turned out.  I took me about an hour to cover them both. The instructions didn’t have a good way to finish off the bottom so I am planning on putting ribbon around the fabric edge so that they have a more finished look.

I would recommend this pin!  It was inexpensive way for me to re-purpose my shoes. Would you try this?  How do you re-purpose your shoes and clothes to give them a new look?

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All Winter and No Crafts Makes Emily a Grouchy Girl

Mickey Mouse crochet hat


Time commitment: 9 episodes of Parks & Rec… Wait what? Uhh, I mean 3 hours…
Cost: $9
Ease of activity: 8/10 – with some previous crocheting experience, this is an intermediate pattern
“Re-Pin” Worthiness: 9/10

If you’re in Minnesota, polar vortex has hit us an upwards of 30 times this season already. If you’re anywhere south of the Mason Dixon line, you can just be quiet. We don’t want to hear about your frigid 35 degree weather.

While I was shaking my fist at Punxsutawney Phil for seeing his shadow this weekend, I was also inwardly giddy at six more weeks of wintry Saturday afternoons. Cold weekends in Minnesota were made for the crafty among us.

The warm indoors gives me an excuse to stay inside, binge on Netflix, and take out my crochet hooks.IMG_20140205_205620_438

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, she’s one of those hipster girls who are trying to bring back activities that my grandma does.”

And to that, I can only say, “Yes, yes I am.”

While I’m not a hipster per say, I do think that I’m prepared for perpetual singleness with my cat, crocheting, and electric blanket. But seriously, crocheting and knitting are fun, easy to learn, and rewarding in the end.

This particular hat is something that I thought would be a lot harder than it actually was. The pattern was quick, free, and easy to follow.

IMG_20140202_152632_130I’m very excited about this hat because my older sister has loved Mickey Mouse ever since she was born, and is now pregnant with her fourth child. This hat fits at 3-6 months old, and will fit just in time for my new niece or nephew’s first Minnesota winter.

Take away: Learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby to pass the time during next few weeks of winter. Pinterest has great connections for beginner crafters for dozens of DIY projects.

Stay warm my friends. Yes, even you southern folk.

Do you have any projects you like to do on winter afternoons?


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From Box to Board

490fe3b332c4416d6d1d259b074035a5 I remember the day I got my first jewelry box.  Excitedly I filled it with all of the costume jewelry I had; a necklace I had gotten from dad, clip on earrings from grandma, and a bracelet I made myself. I have long since graduated from the jewelry box and now most of my jewelry lies in a sad little pile on my dresser.  I pinned this jewelry board a few weeks ago because I thought it was cute and it looked relatively easy to make. Plus I really need a place to hang my jewelry

The premise of this craft is simple, you start with a cork board, paint the edges, and glue fabric in the middle.  I found a good-sized cork board for only four dollars at goodwill.  I was able to use spray paint and fabric glue that I had purchased for another project and I bought a half yard of fabric for two dollars. photo 16photo 17

I taped the edges of my cork board with painters tape and spray painted the back first and then the front.  I did two full coats and then went back and touched up spots that I missed. Make sure to let it dry for a good half an hour before you touch it! I grabbed mine after about 15 minutes and it was still wet.

photo 19photo 20Once the paint was fully dry I carefully cut my fabric to the exact size of the board.  This was a trial and error act.  I eyeballed it, but it would have been more accurate if I measured and then cut it. I ran a thin line of fabric glue along the edge of the board and carefully tucked my fabric into the frame of the board, making sure that it was securely glued.

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The final step in this project is simply using tacks as the “hooks” on the board.  I already had a box of clear tacks so I used those. The best part of using tacks is that you can adjust them as needed.

I believe this pin is worth making! Six dollars, 30 minutes and a little creativity is all it took to organize my jewelery.

What do you think?  Would you try this project?

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Sometimes DIY Means Do-It-Imperfectly

DIY t-shirt scarf

Time commitment: 20mins
Cost: free – assuming you have an unwanted shirt and scissors, otherwise most plain t-shirts run about $6-$10
Ease of activity: 5/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 6/10IMG_20140126_152305_264 (2)

Count ‘em: 1, 2, 3…35. I own 35 scarves. It’s an addiction, and I’m over here in the corner praying that scarves will forever be in style so I won’t have stop wearing them for fear of people telling me my neckwear is “so 2013!”

It starts off innocently enough. You buy a cute one at Kohl’s that goes with your favorite cardigan. Then you get some as Christmas gifts. Then you go to Europe for three weeks and come back with one from every city. And then you decide to take up crocheting. An introvert in front of the TV and 15 skeins of yarn later…

IMG_20140126_153911_673 (2)Needless to say, I wear a lot of scarves.

I’ve seen this DIY t-shirt scarf around Pinterest for a while, and it looked innocent enough for my collection. I took an unwanted tank-top of my sister’s and a scissors and got to work.

The first parts were easy enough: cutting, and stretching. When it got to the braiding and tying, I was wishing I had my Eagle Scout brother there to teach me his knot tying ways. Many of the end lengths didn’t match up which made connecting the two sides together tricky.

I made this one a little more difficult than I probably had to, but it was definitely harder than the pictures led me to believe. Overall it didn’t turn out horribly, and I’ll probably wear it occasionally. It’s just not my favorite.IMG_20140126_160942_792 (2)

Take-away: Pinterest looks easy, real life is not always so easy. This scarf looked simple and cute, but mine isn’t picture perfect. And that’s ok. I’m going to keep trying. There are other crafts that I love and succeed at. Here’s to trying, learning, and persevering.


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