Thursday, April 24, 2014

DIY Colored Thumbtacks



Cheap and easy. That's how I like my DIY projects. 
And this one's the cheapest and easiest of them all. Honestly.



Both of my older kids have bulletin boards in their rooms; and I wanted some cute push pins for them to use. Besides being able to customize the colors, these push pins come with an added bonus: Little Brother's chubby two-year-old fingers aren't dexterous enough to pull them out of the cork boards (yet). So pretty much, they're toddler proof. Until I step on one in the middle of the night…then I'll be singing a different tune.

I'll stop blabbing--let's get to work. It's actually so simple I didn't even take photos showing you the process. Because there's only two ingredients and two steps.


Grab a box of thumbtacks. (And by "grab" I mean buy them, not shoplift them). I think they're about 89¢ and you probably have a box laying around somewhere. I did. Office supplies are my thing. Then grab some nail polish. I have a lot of that hanging around, too. It's kind of my other thing. 

Rummage through your recycle bin until you find an old box (a padded envelope would be appropriate too). I used an old cereal box. Rice Krispies…because I'm sure you were dying to know. Stick a bunch of thumbtacks into the box (or envelope) in a nice, tidy row. Now start painting. Just paint the thumbtacks, let them dry. Put on another coat or two if you need to. Don't be stingy. Wait till they're dry and pull them out of the box. Done.


I really love how the gold glitter ones turned out. And if nail art is one of your things you could do some fun designs on your thumbtacks, too. Dots, stripes, flowers, you name it. And I could be wrong, but I think Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up. Paint up a batch of these cuties and package them in a beaker or test tube and you've got a quick easy gift. 

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Easter Egg Bath Bombs

Here's an interesting fact: I rarely have ideas for holiday projects before the actual holiday. My best ideas come immediately after said holiday. But not this time, folks. I actually thought of and carried out a project before the holiday in question. It'll probably never happen again. Consider this the equivalent of seeing a unicorn in your backyard.

I've been wanting to make bath bombs with the kids for quite some time now. One morning I was plotting how exactly we'd go about this, when I realized that all those plastic easter eggs I've got sitting in the storage room are very similar in shape to the plastic ornaments everyone uses to mold their bath bombs. And I was even more excited that Easter coincided with my epiphany.

I researched all the different bath bomb recipes I have pinned on my DIY Crafts + Projects board to come up with the best possible recipe. All the recipes have the same ingredients: Citric Acid, Baking Soda, Epsom Salts, Cornstarch, Essential Oils, Coloring and some water. Simple enough, right? Except I had no idea where to get citric acid and the wide world of essential oils is completely foreign to me.

I ordered citric acid from Amazon, which was easy enough. Then I popped into Whole Foods to grab some essential oils because I thought seeing my options in person would help. Nope. That made it worse. I was surrounded by a mind-boggling assortment of little vials, and I had no idea where to begin. I quickly left more confused than before. So I turned back to Amazon and ordered some oils from Eden's Garden. Mostly because I liked the labels, and they were inexpensive. That's some informed purchasing, huh? Pretty labels, and good prices. Perfect.

Anyway, there are a bazillion tutorials for bath bombs out there. And some great YouTube videos, too. So I won't go too in-depth here. But here's the winning recipe:

  • 1C. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 C. Citric Acid
  • 1/2 C. Epsom Salts
  • 1/2 C. Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. Essential Oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Safflower Oil (or any other light oil)
  • 3 drops food coloring
  • 1 tsp. water
You'll also need a glass bowl, a mini spritzer bottle (I got mine for 79¢ in the travel section of Target) and a whisk. Round up your old plastic Easter eggs and throw on an apron while you're at it, too.


  • Combine all the dry ingredients in the glass bowl. Break up any lumps with the whisk.
  • Combine all the liquids in the spray bottle.
  • Start spritzing the dry ingredients with the liquids…just keep whisking. You're trying to keep it from fizzing…so keep it moving.
  • I used all the liquid in the bottle, then had to add a little extra water. You want it to be moist enough to clump in your hand without crumbling, but not so wet you can hear it fizzing. 
  • When you've got the right consistency, start molding. I found it worked best when I packed a bit into each side of the egg, then scooped up extra and squished the two halves together. 
  • Give it a little shake for good luck, then gently pry the pieces apart. It takes a few tries to get the hang of it, but once you've got it down, you're good to go. 
  • Cover a soft towel with some waxed paper and lay the eggs there to dry overnight.
Wrap up a bunch and give them out as Easter gifts. They'd be great for friends, teachers, and I can tell you my kids are HUGE fans. We've got a big bag of eggs, but they're all ready asking if we can make more when they're gone. 

A couple more ideas: 
  • Add some sprinkles or glitter to add some excitement. 
  • Hide a small toy in the center so they have a surprise when the egg dissolves. 
  • Try different combinations of scents and colors
  • Use different molds. Cupcake tins, ice cube trays, tartlet tins, etc.

And here's what they look like when you add too much water to the mixture. They mold up really easily and you go to bed thinking you're a DIY rockstar. Then you wake up in the morning to find your eggs have "hatched" and you're not as cool as you thought you were. My daughter was pretty excited to see we've got some that are hatching, so she made a nest for them. Maybe she should make a nest for my bruised ego while she's at it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Watercolor


Chalk it up to spring fever, but I really love the look of watercolor right now. It's kind of funny that I never jumped aboard the Waterlogue train. But I'm a huge fan of watercolor lately. It's subtle, artistic and romantic at the same time. Here are some of my favorite ways to add a little watercolor to your life, without breaking out the ol' crayolas. 

But now that I see these pretties, I think I should add some watercolor projects to my to-do list. Have a great day!

Phone Case  //  Pouch  // Out to Sea Art Print
Hello Cards // Scarf  // Mug
Pillow // Plate // Wrapping Paper

Monday, March 10, 2014

Crafty Superstar



Hi Guys! I'm super excited to be featured as the Crafty Superstar of the week over at Cut Out and Keep. I'm sharing my most popular tutorials over there. They unveil a different project of mine each day, so stop over and say hi.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Umba Trunk Show

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the handmade movement. And I'm always on the lookout for the best, most beautiful handmade goodies around. I've been a long-time Etsy shopper and seller, but I have to admit it can be frustrating at times. The handmade market is SO crowded; and it's becoming harder and harder to find things I love--things that speak to me. 


I was so thrilled when I met the wonderful people from Umba at Alt Summit in January. They curate the most gorgeous handmade items from around the world, all in one place. Besides being simply a curated handmade marketplace, though, Umba also offers monthly box subscriptions. You can have delightful handmade treasures sent to your doorstep every month.


Umba also has an Umbassador program. It's a way people can make a living selling handmade goods, without actually making them themselves. Umbassadors host trunk shows and parties and make a commission on the sales from their party. By connecting artists and Umbassadors, children in Ethiopia are now able to attend school because their parents who craft Umba's Banded Cotton Towels are now earning a steady income, and grandmothers in Chile can earn a fair wage by knitting their Wooly House Shoes. I have chills just thinking about handmade goods changing peoples' lives.


I've partnered with my new friends from Umba to host a little trunk show of my own. I've gathered some of my favorite things right here to pretty-up your day.




The trunk show will run through the 9th…so let's start shopping and show some love for these incredible artists! If you like what you see, definitely pop over to Umba to see the full collection.