U Create has a sweet Valentine for crafters of all abilities with the Stitchable Conversation Heart.  They made it even easier by providing a free template for your project!

 

A cute and easy project that will add a little touch of Cupid’s magic to our homes?  Count us in!

 

Please click here to visit U Create and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To make darling “grown-up” Valentine’s Day cards for my favorite people using my favorite fabric, felt!

 

Details:

  • I was in need of felt for this project and also to update my felt rosette wreath, so I picked up several sheets at my local JoAnn.
  • I also picked up some blank greeting cards so that I could adorn them with the felt hearts to make grown-up valentines.
  • I had needles and dental floss at home, so was all set to start once I got back with the materials.

I can’t wait to get these mailed out to my friends and family – snail mail is one of my favorite ways to let people know you love them.

Share the love – xoxo!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I first cut out the felt heart shapes using the method of folding the felt in half-length wise and then cutting a heart shape. Each of my hearts is unique in shape and I love that aspect!

I tried marking the stencil pattern onto my felt, but it wasn’t working well with my pencil, so I decided to go the free hand route using just my needle and floss thread. Though my stitched lines don’t look perfect and aren’t nearly as cute as the free stitch-able print, but I feel it adds to the handmade cuteness of these Valentine’s Day cards!

If you did want to use a stencil, a chalk pencil would come in handy!

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

Easy to do and pretty quick when it came down to prep and finish time.

Plus there are so many options on how to create these and you can personalize them for your valentines.

Cons:

I don’t see any – such a great way to spread love. 

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

They are so darling and I am excited to have created homemade Valentine’s for my loved ones.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Whip up a little Valentine’s decor for my home and my honey.

 

Details:

  • I used some left over felt from our Felt Rosette Wreath project.
  • My plain white cloth came right out of my scrap bin.
  • I grabbed my frame from the clearance aisle at Target a few months back!
  • I chose white embroidery thread, which I also had on hand!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!The hardest part about this project for me, was cutting out a normal looking heart.  I don’t recall failing this part of kindergarten, but I must have.

I chose “XOXO” as my convo and used a basic back-stitch as Kari from U Create did.  I thought I would be safe free-handing my writing, however sort of wish I would have stenciled it due to my anal retentive tendencies.

Embroidery thread is made up of 6 tiny strands.  I used 3 strands for the outline of my heart, and the full thread for my “XOXO”.

To finish my piece, I simply taped my fabric over the glass part of my picture frame and put it back together!  Wah-lah!

If I did it again, I would have ironed the fabric before putting it into the frame.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

A super easy and speedy project that adds a little V-day flare to your home!

Cons:

When making this project I accidentally thought about Cupid and got the damn “Cupid Shuffle” stuck in my head for the next 4 days.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

I liked this project!  There are so many ways to make it your own, and it’s easy enough for all skill levels.

I love that I didn’t need to spend a dime, and I also like the idea of having an easy project on hand to create cute holiday decor for any season!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #3 – Alicia

Mission: The magic word for me is “felt“. I just love everything about it and have tons of it. I would be wearing felt underwear if I could, but alas – that is another conversation. I am all about creating a Valentine-themed project out of felt!

Details:

In the original post Kari used the cutest picture frames for her hearts. I have a lot of random frames but nothing that really sparked my interest for this project.

  • I decided to use 2 embroidery hoops that were collecting dust.
  • I also had a large amount of linen from some previous projects that I thought would tie in nicely.
  • I used white and red embroidery floss and used a basic stitch.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would strongly suggest finding  several sizes of  hearts and sayings on the internet to use as a guide. The original post included a link to both, but I could not [for the life of me] get the darn images to enlarge.

I decided to free-hand everything and it turned out okay but using a guide would have been a lot easier.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

So easy and looks so lovely – Felt is so inexpensive!

Cons:

None – unless you suck at using a needle and thread or cutting.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

This project is one of my all-time favorites. I just love the end result; it was so easy to make and there are so many ways to make them.

I seriously have felt coming out of my ears, so I am super excited to make a few more of these to display around the house. This would also be a great gift for a grandparent or a child’s teacher.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spread some love!

 
 

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!
The darling Stitchable Conversation Heart and it’s photo by U Create

 


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Happy Hour Projects has a recipe for Cinnamon Dough Ornaments that will bring back nostalgia of Christmas as a kid, as well as fill your home with the spicy smell of the season.

 

Cute on the tree and cheaper than candles, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Happy Hour Projects and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: A great piece for the holidays, to bring the smell and décor of Christmas!

 

Details:

  • I used about ¾ cup Mott’s Unsweetened Applesauce.
  • I don’t have a rolling pin. I used a drinking glass to roll out the dough.
  • I used champagne flutes to cut my ornament pieces!  Easy peasy!
  • Instead of waiting for them to dry, I baked them as Adrianne had suggested.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I ended up using less than the 1 cup of apple sauce since I was worried that it maybe a little more liquid, which was a good idea.

I used champagne flutes for cutters, but you can definitely use your favorite cookie cutters!

I placed mine on a string after seeing Sarah’s finished project to make a festive garland piece!  I love it!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Only 2 ingredients, can’t beat that! Easy, and I bet fun for the kids!

Cons:

Wish it smelled up my home a bit more of cinnamon, but not to worry that is why we have candles!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Super cute!! Easy to make! A fun festive craft to make with the kids and cheap!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I don’t remember making cinnamon dough as a child, so I thought I better make up for lost time!

 

Details:

I wasn’t too careful about how I mixed my ingredients.  I halved the recipe so I just dumped each of my products in the bowl and mixed; no measuring!

  • One 2 oz bottle of Cinnamon
  • One 4 oz single serving container of Apple Sauce
  • I decorated my little gingerbread people with white, puffy fabric paint and scraps of ribbon, yarn and sequins that I had in my stash!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollabI had planned to lightly flour my work surface until I remembered Adrianne’s trick to using wax paper.  I have never rolled out dough in between wax paper, but holy moly did it work great!  I learned a new trick that’s a keeper!

I used a very thin spatula to lift the cut-outs from the wax paper and then picked off the outlying dough.

I baked them at 150 degrees for an hour on each side as instructed; however instead of drying on a rack, I just turned the oven off and left them in there overnight to fully dry out.

The edges of my little gingies were a little rough.  I just rubbed off the little crispy rough edges with my finger and they smoothed right out!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Ridiculously easy.  Mixing bowl to oven in 5 minutes.

Cons:

The cinnamon smell was almost overpowering at times, however left my entire home smelling cozy and festive, so no biggie!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Even though I’m not a kid, I did enjoy whipping up a small batch of these cuties.  They smell great and are a cute and cozy addition to my tree!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To try my hand at a tried and true childhood holiday craft.

 

Details:

  • Again, I live at Target more than I care to admit, but this was where I picked up the two ingredients needed in the dough recipe. I picked out a Market Pantry brand homestyle applesauce and ground cinnamon. I bought two of the 2.37 oz. cinnamon jars.  Once I set up shop, I mixed the ¾ cup of applesauce with both jars of the cinnamon and began mixing with a spoon. It didn’t take long before it started to firm up to the stiffness as mentioned in the directions.
  • I love bakers twine, so that was what we used for the string on the Christmas tree ornaments as well as on the stars. I used all of the stars for a garland that now adorns our fireplace mantle this holiday season. Super cute and I can always catch a scent of cinnamon as I walk by.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollabYou may want to pick up an extra bottle of cinnamon so if your dough doesn’t seem stiff enough, just add a bit more cinnamon to the mix. Plus, you can always use this spice in your baking!

I then rolled it out between two sheets of wax paper until it was about a ¼” thick as Adrianne did. I opted to use both a Christmas tree and star shape cookie cutter for the ornaments. The trickiest part of this whole process was transferring the cutouts from the wax paper to the parchment lined cookie sheets! I didn’t loose any in the process, but it sure was close.

I like a quick end result, so I opted to bake these at 170 degrees for two hours total – flipping them at the one-hour mark. 170 degrees is the lowest temperature my oven will bake at, but it worked great. After removing them from the oven, I dried them on a rack for a full day to be sure they were well cured.

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Affordable and relatively easy to make gifts for teachers and friends!

Cons:

The dough got a bit sticky and hard to roll after a little bit.

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

These were pretty easy to whip up, they smell great and bought back memories of my childhood.  I didn’t love making these, but when my kids are older, I’m sure we will do them again!

 

 We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab


The lovely
Cinnamon Dough Ornaments and photo by Happy Hour Projects

 


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It’s Just Laine has just the way to bring some holiday cheer to your home with her  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars.  

 
These little jars are easy to make and promise to leave plenty of jingle in your wallet for presents!

 

Please click here to visit It’s Just Laine and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a beautiful Christmas decoration out of jars and salt- I am in!

 

Details:

  • I had a few random Mason Jar and a glass dish/bowl that worked perfectly for this project.
  • I also found mini trees and figurines at the Dollar Store.
  • Epsom Salt can be found anywhere.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Grab your jars, use a small funnel and fill them with salt.

Use a fork or long spoon to place your trees/decorations in the jars.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

I just love this! So easy and cheap to create.

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I am sooooo in love with these damn jars. What a brilliant idea!

I have a few of them on my kitchen table and have gotten so many compliments. I wish I used or had more vintage looking jars, but I am happy with how it turned out.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: I set out to spread some holiday cheer using just a handful of supplies and a creative eye. Oh and a little salt!

 

Details:

  • I ended up using Coarse Kosher Salt instead of Epsom Salt because that is what I had on hand. I imagine Epsom Salt would have been a little finer and maybe looked a bit more fluffy but the Kosher Salt worked fine.
  • I had a hard time finding really tiny trees so I feel like even the small one I found felt big and took up most of the jar. I found the trees and boy pulling the sled at the local Jo-Ann.
  • I scrounged up a jar which was not as “old” and vintage as I would have liked but it did the trick.
  • I also decided to venture out a little and use a cake stand for an additional mini display for my collectible angels.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Playdough or clay comes in handy with this little project. The inside of my jar and the bottom of my cake stand were not level so I used a little squashed up playdough on the bottom of my figures and trees to help them stay put and level them out a bit too.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

QUICK! It was crazy easy and silly fast putting these cute little holiday decorations together and really the possibilities are endless.

Cons:

Finding tiny little figurines was harder than I thought. I did discover ornaments could make a great substitute too however!

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I will definitely use this idea in my holiday decor for years to come!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I was excited about this project for months beforehand.  I couldn’t wait to create some tiny chilly scenes with that retro look for our holiday decor!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t pre-assemble your little scene, unless you know it will fit!  I made this mistake not once, but twice.

Speaking of… for the taller jars, I think that a wider mouth works best, unless you happen to build tiny ships in bottles in your spare time.

I used a Needle Nose Pliers to place the tiny items into the jar.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Super easy to make and ridiculously adorable!

Cons:

None, except for the self-inflicted glue gun burns that I give myself  every damn time…

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I am not sure that I could love these little jars more; I love having them around our home.  They will make great hostess gifts for holiday parties as well as presents for friends and family!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To mimic the Anthropologie Christmas tree jars for far less than the cost of buying it through them!

 

Details:

  • I had one vintage blue quart size Mason Jar at home and acquired a second one from my good friend Amanda of Be Crafty Workshops, as she has a plethora of vintage craft finds! I also had another cool clear glass Atlas quart size jar that we ended up using too.
  • With some direction in my back pocket, I headed to our local Michaels crafts store to pick up the mini Christmas trees, miniature deer and other cute finds. I was super excited to search for the items needed for this project as I am obsessed with anything miniature. I have decided that anything is adorable in a tiny form! The kids and I found the last bag of the miniature deer in the store (score!) and also found some cute miniature sleighs to put in our jars.
  • We then walked next door to the grocery store as we were unable to find Epsom salt at Michaels crafts – who knew?!? Well, we came up short at the grocery store for any unscented Epsom Salt…I was feeling dizzy just smelling the lavender scented version, so that was a no-go! I ended up picking up Coarse Sea Salt for our jars and it worked perfect! It still has the snow look and the extra will come in handy while cooking.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you have young children, use their little silverware to help guide your miniature items in place – I used a child’s spoon.

Know that you can always substitute items within a project – the Coarse Sea Salt worked perfect instead of Epsom Salt.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

I spent about $20 total to finish all three jars vs. the $40/large jar that Anthropologie was charging.

Cons:

A little hard to find all of the necessary items for the project, but it was just a matter of making our rounds!

It’s a little putzy to get these together – just do them when you have patience at hand. I would not recommend having your kids help with the actual creation of the project though – it was just too much.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

An easy to create Christmas decoration project! They look adorable on our shelf and add some vintage cuteness!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sheri

Mission: These jars are absolutely adorable but I would never pay $40 for them. Making them myself? Why not?

 

Details:

I couldn’t get over how easy these were to do.

  • My only mistake was taking my 4-year old with me to the craft store to pick out some trees. He wanted every little animal there. We ended up getting a few deer, although I truly wanted the squirrels. Luckily all the figures were 40% off at my local Michaels craft store.
  • I already had Mason Jars on hand, so this was inexpensive project compared to those jars offered from Anthropologie.
  • I poured in my Epsom Salt first. Make sure you put a good ¾” to 1” in there so you can bed your figures in there well.

Place your figures, top the jar, and it’s done. It’s really that simple.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used a pencil to reach down to the bottom and place my tree and deer just so.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Adorable and inexpensive.

Cons:

None, except cleaning up some spilled Epsom Salt.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I’ve already gotten wonderful compliments on my little tree jars. They’re wonderful. My kids are already asking to make more. They fit my décor perfectly.

 

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab


The darling
DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars and it’s photo by It’s Just Laine

 


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CraftStylish has a project that will not only dress up your Thanksgiving table, but will have you embracing the piles of leaves in your yard as well!  
The darling Leaf Print Napkins use real leaves as a stamp in this clever DIY.

 

Since our yards were full and we can always use some pretty holiday decor, we thought we had better give this one a go!

 
 

Please click here to visit CraftStylish and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: What a super cute way to jazz up the table during the holidays. I normally don’t host Thanksgiving dinner so I decided to jazz up my kitchen and use this method to make some leaf dishtowels.

 

Details:

The instructions for this project were done really well. I personally didn’t have a brayer so I just used my fingers and it worked just fine.

  • I decided on maple and oak leaves. I love the margin for variety. You can do as much as you want, and any colors you want.

I won’t lie to you. I made a bit of a mess, but overall it was easy. Just paint the leaves and transfer them to the material.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use fresh green leaves if you can. You don’t want to use leaves that are brittle in any way.

Have a placement plan before you start putting paint on the leaves. You don’t want it to start to dry.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Add your own personality and flare to your dinner table and they’re super cute.

Cons:

I could just go buy a fall inspired napkins, placemats, or dishtowels….for less mess.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

This little fall project was fun. The instructions were very easy to follow and I really loved the results. It has me thinking, “what else can I put leaves on?”

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To create a functional piece of fall décor for our home.

 

Details:

  • I chose oyster colored burlap from Joann. It is such a beautiful fabric – so simple with a natural feel.
  • I opted to do the leaf prints on a table runner vs. napkins. We rarely use cloth napkins in this house, so it just didn’t seem functional for us.  Before beginning with the project, I determined what size I wanted to make my table runner and opted to do a 3.5’ x 1.5’. It isn’t huge, but works with our table.  I was stressed out by the thought of working with burlap and sewing it, so that started this project off on the wrong foot for me. I was definitely overwhelmed but it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be! I added a little ribbon/lace detail onto the burlap before sewing a 5/8” border to keep it from coming completely unraveled.
  • After sewing, I put my two paint colors, orange and brown, into bowls and began covering the back of my oak leaves and placing them where I wanted. I ended up only doing a few of the actual leaf prints – I’m such a minimalist with design. I do like how they turned out but know that if I had used linen or cotton that the leaf details would have been more defined.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If the leaf doesn’t imprint as well as you intend, you can apply paint a second time and line it up again for a clearer print.

Keep calm and keep moving ahead!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Overall, pretty darn easy to complete and a cute idea. The leaf prints would also be a fun project with kids on paper.

Cons:

Burlap is super messy! I don’t recommend using it for this project – unless you want burlap fibers everywhere!

I don’t love the end result – it’s just a little too elementary looking for my liking.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Using this on our table this fall! We will see how it fares with my littles! It is a darling backdrop to our little pumpkins and gourds.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Whip up some cute linens adorned with fallen leaves for our Thanksgiving table!  We’re hosting for our first time this year!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Press your leaves… sort of.  I collected my {green} leaves early in the week and put them directly into a magazine and under a book.  The following weekend was when I did my printing.  The leaves were still fresh and pliable, but they were flat as a pancake, which made them really easy to work with.

Cover your work surface really well!  I covered my table with Kraft Paper and Painter’s Tape.

I placed a clean paper towel over each leaf to keep paint off of the brayer and also off of the runner.  This worked really well!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Totally easy with darling results!

Cons:

Holy hell.  Burlap is the messiest thing on Earth.

This was my first experience with it and I think it may be even sneakier than glitter; I am still finding little fibers all over my house!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Great project!  I am really excited about how easy this was to do and how crisp the leaves transferred.  I am already thinking of other items to embellish!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: Super cute fall design, but instead of napkins I wanted a reusable bag for groceries.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Iron fabric beforehand as it was difficult for me to roll over the wrinkles. I was just lazy.

I would recommend painting on a hard solid surface and purchase the brayer as it may give you a more even leaf imprint.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Simple, quick and cute!  Keep your leaves as they look adorable in fall decorations.

Cons:

The paint roller goofed me up, I had to push heavily down and sometimes it didn’t want to cooperate!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Cute, fall project!  Must admit it wasn’t my favorite to do but it came out great!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5 – Alicia

Mission: Fall is my favorite time of year. To create a beautiful leaf print anything, I am in!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I decided that I wanted to make a runner for my table. I found this giant leaf at the park down the street and thought that I would stamp/transfer 3 of these to the center of my runner. HUGE FAIL!

First – be sure to practice on paper. Second – cover your surface. Paint ran through my linen onto the table. Lastly – get more than one leaf.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

My napkins (yes napkins) turned out okay. Had to totally scrap the runner.

Cons:

Waste of material if you don’t know what you are doing.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

This project was a total bust for me. Looks nothing like the original, beautiful post.  I had high hopes and was really excited for this to turn out. I took the time to sew a nice runner and the image did not transfer or turn out at all – so I scrapped it and made napkins out of my remaining linen. Bummer!

 

 Leaf Printing - We Tried It!


The lovely
Leaf Print Napkins and photo by CraftStylish


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If you have been searching for a gourd-free way to give your porch a festive punch, Bullfrogs & Bulldogs has your ticket!

 

The DIY Jack O’ Lantern Planter looks like just the way to get your Fall flowers into a holiday frock!

 

We couldn’t wait to give this surprisingly simple project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Bullfrogs & Bulldogs and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a Halloween themed flower pot is right up my alley.

 

Details:

I used the same items that were used over at Bullfrogs & Bulldogs, except for the orange or rust-colored spray paint.  I skipped that step.

  • I had Terra Cotta Pots in my garage – although you could use a plastic pot
  • I picked out some Mums to plant in my pot.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I free-handed a pumpkin image and then drew this on my pot in pencil.

Next, I painted right over the image with the black paint.  It dried very quickly and I felt that 1 coat of paint was perfect. You could certainly download an image from the web or I have also found stickers at Michael’s or Joann that could be applied directly to the pot in place of paint.

 

Pros:

This was so easy and cheap. I had most of the items on hand and clay pots coming out of my ears

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! I just love it. Pumpkins, spiders, bats, witches – you name it, I am in heaven.  The more rustic decorations are what I gravitate towards and this project had that rustic feel. I think it turned out great. My painting skills are not the best but it totally adds to the charm.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Add some festive charm to my front stoop that won’t be begging to get tossed in the street!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It might work better to use a non-gloss finish.  I noticed that the glossy paint got a funky texture on the pots that didn’t entirely resolve after drying completely.  Next time, I would either go for a less vibrant color that could just be dusted on, or use a paint that could be brushed on and then sealed (also with a brush). Patience really is a virtue.  My pots have a few fingerprints on them because I just couldn’t wait to touch them.  This seems to be a recurring trend for me.

I was a little worried that the fresh paint might transfer from the bottoms of the pots to my steps, so I put a cork trivet from IKEA under each one.  Problem solved!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

I love them!

I like the way that they brighten up our front steps while being perfectly suited for a family sans kiddos.

Cons:

It took a lot of paint to cover those pots!  I went through one whole can on two pots and two dishes.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

I really like these little pots even more than I thought I would!  They look so cute on our steps.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission:  When I first saw this pin I thought it was a really cute way to spook up the front porch. I was hoping I could get out of carving a pumpkin this year.

 

Details:

Although I found this to be a really cute idea, I didn’t think the instructions were very well laid out. Just paint it?

First I wanted to know what kind of paint. My kids have painted terracotta pots before and when left outside they didn’t last. For a person that is not the craftiest, you need to do some research and find the right products. I went forth and found my own instructions, which of course I’ll share with you.

  • The first thing I did was sand the pot down a little bit. Scuff it up. I then wiped it down with a damp rag and let it dry.
  • Next, for those of you who plan on planting something in the pot, I applied a clear coat of spray paint. This will help prevent the pot from absorbing moisture from the soil.
  • Then the fun part, paint as you see fit. I used an Americana Gloss Enamel Paint in Black which is good on ceramics. A Valspar or Rustoleum spray paint will also work. I thought of painting the pot green and making a Frankenstein but I stuck with the traditional Jack-o-lantern.
  • Lastly, a clear coat. I sprayed the entire pot with a clear coat. After drying, I added a nice fall mum.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sand and clear coat your pot.

Use a paint that adheres well to ceramics.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

This is super cute and I’m hoping is lasts for next fall season as well.

Cons:

No instructions.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Overall I really love how this project turned out. It really added a little more character to the front porch. We’re ready for some trick or treating!

 

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

 

The darling Jack O’ Lantern Planter and photo by Bullfrogs & Bulldogs


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Move over Pottery BarnThe Crafting Chicks have made the most adorable Felt Valentine Envelopes to fill with sweets for their sweeties this Valentine’s Day.

 

Since we a.) love felt b.) love holidays and c.) love our sweeties, this project was right up our alley!

 

Please click here to visit The Crafting Chicks and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Get my hot glue gun out and make something purdy that my kids will love year after year.

 

Details:

This little project was fun because I recently finished another felt project (mermaid tails for my kiddos) and it inspired me to go wild and pick up some embellishments like sequins,  ric rac, felt hearts and felt heart stickers.

  • I purchased all of my supplies at Joann and since some of them were purchased previously I could only estimate that I spent roughly $15.00.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

HelpersA toothpick will save your life. Okay maybe not your life but for sure your fingertips! I decided after the first few lines of rick-rac that my fingers were not going to make it through this project so I busted out one of my fancy appetizer toothpicks (they are thicker and more sturdy). It worked beautifully and allowed me to really push the embellishments into the felt without severe burns.

I also advise that if you have not worked with felt and a hot glue gun before beware of the amount of glue you use. Less is more! You will find that if you have too much glue when putting your envelope together it will show through and you will then be forced to cover it with some kind of decorative embellishment.

I used my handy Rotary Cutter whenever possible and it worked SO WELL! I am really anal about this and found that it created the easiest straight line with little effort and zero frustration. After the first round of measuring and cutting I had it down pat but since I had two helpers my concentration was limited. Good thing this was pretty easy to fudge if I measured incorrectly in some areas. I ended up cutting one of the envelopes down just a little to get everything to line up and it was just fine!

Amanda - Valentine 1

Pros:

Cheap, cheerful and really just a sweet tradition to fill every year for Valentine’s Day.

I am considering making one for each of my kids teachers too, since I still have felt and embellishments left over.

Cons:

The only con I can come up with is just the hot glue gun being a little messy but I think if I upgraded to a proper crafting glue gun, things would be so much easier!

Amanda - Valentine 2

Conclusion:

Loved this project and the idea behind it. I think it would have been nice to have had stiffer felt but using some that I already had was just so handy.

I recommend this to anyone with a loved one that they like to give goodies to on Valentine’s or any holiday really. You could change up the colors and embellishments. It would be fun to do a birthday envelope too!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: I always find wonderful and fun things for the kids when I am skimming through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. They always have the best holiday gifts. I always tell the boys that the best gift ever is love. Not toys…just love. We like to have a little valentine celebration each year to remember that. These envelopes are perfect for our party. Much like Christmas stockings and Easter baskets, I can fill these envelopes with notes of love, and remind them how special they are. I might even sneak in a couple of chocolates.

Details:

While embarking on this project I really wanted to make my envelopes a little more masculine. I found this great red felt that had an alligator skin texture. The boys loved it!

The instructions provided by The Crafting Chicks were easy to follow. A bit tedious having to measure everything seeing I was making 3 envelopes, but it went by faster than I presumed.

Once the envelopes were put together (thank you hot glue!), we got to be creative. I let the kids pick out their own decorations.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t try gluing the entire envelop at once… one half at a time so the glue stays hot.

Sheri - Valentine 1

Pros:

Now need to sew! Thank you hot glue gun.

Cons:

Pulling all the little spare hot glue strands off everything! Darn you hot glue gun.

Sheri - Valentine 2Conclusion:

I actually really enjoyed making these and the kids love them! They can’t wait for our Valentine’s Day party. The project actually got me missing cross-stitching. I haven’t done that since I was kid. I can’t wait to hang them and fill them with little notes and some Hershey Kisses. They are now requesting I get more alligator felt to make stuffed animals…I’m frightened, that requires sewing.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To create a darling Valentine envelope for my kiddos’ sweet valentines.

 

Details:

inprocessI LOVE felt! So, this project was one I was pumped about from the beginning! And, I LOVE using my glue gun, so again, a great project!

  • I picked up all of my felt supplies and adornments at Joann. I grabbed the traditional Valentine colors for the felt and I found some great gold sequins, felt sticker embellishments and ric rac.
  • I began the process by cutting out my felt to the correct shapes according to the directions. I was unable to find the larger sheets of felt, so our envelopes were made of three 9 x 12” felt sheets, which worked great!
  • After prepping the envelope forms, I let the kids go to town with the felt stickers – they would place them and then I would adhere them with the hot glue gun. The kids then picked out what ric-rack and sequin details they wanted and I helped by gluing them on as well.
  • These were done in no time, though the kids wanted to continue to add stickers to theirs which is why some of them turned out a bit chaotic. After we were finished, I added lace to the back so they could be hung in our home.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Felt is very forgiving, so don’t stress if things are cutting perfectly.

If you want to do this with your children, pick up some of the felt stickers – this allowed the kids to have a big part in the creation.

Sarah's Sweeties

Pros:

You can use your hot glue gun – I have an addiction to mine!!

And, these turn out adorable and are a great parent & kid craft project!

The kids had a BLAST with this project and have been toting them around the house since we made them. Though my kids won’t receive many Valentines this year since they aren’t school age, it was a great project!

Cons:

I honestly can’t think of any. If I were more skilled in hand sewing, I would have tried the hand-stitch for another cute finished look.

Sarah Valentine 2

Conclusion:

I absolutely LOVE the end result and even made an extra one to send to my niece for Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission: Felt project again? My lucky day!

 

envelope openDetails:

This project came together very quickly and very inexpensive.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

This project is pretty straightforward. You could certainly use your sewing machine to create smooth edges, but not necessary.

Pros:

Quick and easy and the different possibilities are endless!

Cons:

None! Although I am not great at making a straight line with hot glue.

Alicia Valentine 2

Conclusion:

What a great project! Who doesn’t love getting mail, especially in a cute envelope! I have decided to make one of these envelopes for each of my kids, 4 Nieces and 2 Nephews. 8 total! Well, maybe that might be a lot of work.

 

Valentine Conclusion

 

The lovely Felt Valentine Envelopes and it’s photo by The Crafting Chicks


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While searching for terrific gift ideas, we stumbled upon The 36th Avenue’s darling Number Stenciled Mugs!  This terrific tutorial looks like it has truly gift-worthy results!

We couldn’t wait to give stenciling a try!

 

Please click here to visit The 36th Avenue and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Throw my hat in the ring with all the other fools and make myself a mustache mug (numbers are cool but mustaches are cooler).

 

Details:

Products that I used: 

I knew from the start that I wanted to create something quirky and fun. Morning coffee just better with a chuckle! I was inspired to create my own stencil from this post on Young House Love. They were making their own stencil for a glass etching project but I figured this would work similarly for this project as well.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be prepared for a little clean up. Also, don’t hold your breath as you pull the stencil off. You might pass out! It gets a little intense for a moment as you peel the tape back but as I learned, using a pin head or the end of your X-Acto knife you can clean up any mess in no time at all.

Amanda - Mugs 1

Pros:

You could seriously customize anything with this method! I love the idea of creating a simple gift on the cheap.

The 36th Avenue did a fantastic job on writing up this little DIY so I didn’t encounter anything unexpected.

Cons:

Not really a project con but my own personal con. I used a Martha Stewart paint that essentially self-cures in 21 days. This is way too long for me! I already went out and purchased a new ceramic paint and plan to use that on future mug projects.

Keep your fingers crossed that my mustache mug doesn’t get some serious grooming on its first wash (in 21 days of course).

Amanda - Mugs 2

Conclusion:

The next stenciled mugs are already in the works! I plan to make one for my daughter’s teacher, my grandma and also one for my sister. Mug love all around!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: I thought this would be a great way to personalize our mugs, and an even better idea for a holiday gift with a personal touch. A personalized mug filled with chocolates!?

 

Details:

I read the directions. And then I read them again. I really didn’t want to screw this up, but somehow I managed to screw it up on the first try.

  • I cleaned the surface of the mug and applied the stencil. I think the key is to have an adhesive stencil. I used these great stencils by Folk Art. I can’t imagine trying to do a curved surface any other way. Make sure it’s applied very well to prevent any bleeding.
  • Next, dab the paint. I purchased the same paint used by The 36th Avenue. As Desiree says, “tap, tap, tap.”
  • Remove the stencil IMMEDIATELY. Yeah, I was too busy reading the back of the paint bottle and tending to the whining dog. When I removed the stencil…the paint came up with it. Darn it! (that’s not actually what came from my mouth)
  • I got it right with my second go around. Seriously easy.
  • The pin trick – super awesome. Works great, but you really need a steady hand.
  • It only takes 30 minutes in the oven at 350° to cure it. Then it’s washable!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Rubbing alcohol works great to remove the paint from the mug. If you make a mistake, you can quickly fix it and try again.

 Sheri - Mugs 1

Pros:

Easy, inexpensive, and didn’t take much time at all.

Cons:

Not really any…unless the paint bleeds under the stencil. Working with a little pin can cramp your hand.

Sheri - Mugs 2

Conclusion:

Overall this was a pretty quick and easy project, aside from my little mishap of course. I must admit I was a little nervous about washing them, but they turned out just fine. I’ve added a little laughter and love to my morning coffee. I’m thinking of getting some more mugs and putting dinosaurs on them for the boys to enjoy with their hot chocolate! I think they would just love it.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Whip up some cute, personalized drinkware to enjoy some holiday cheer!  If this project is a winner, guess what you’re getting for your next gift… everyone!!

 

Details:

DIY Stencil a la Young House Love (Amanda told me about this great tutorial after I told her that I was longing for a doxie mug):

Tips & Tricks Learned:

OoopsiesOkay, so since I did this project a couple of different ways, I have a few tricks to share for each variation!

Sticky stencil: These work the best when you rinse them off after each impression.  A pain, but you’ll love the results!

Non-sticky stencil: I don’t recommend it!  Even when securing with painter’s tape, it didn’t work.  Boo.  If you don’t believe me, check out the “snowflake” blob example at the right.

DIY Stencil a la Young House Love: LOVED this!  Such an awesome idea!  It worked like a charm, but make sure that you use your fingernail to super-press down along the edges of your design.  If you don’t do this, the paint will bleed out of the perimeter of your design.

ALL Methods: While The 36th Avenue’s pin trick worked well, I preferred to clean up my edges with a small, lightly dampened angle brush.  I was able to remove goofs as well as sort of “push” the goofed paint back where it belonged!

Less is more!  You’ll get more bubbles in the paint the more paint you use, as well as the more that you “Pounce”!  Go easy on it!

Clean your surface first with rubbing alcohol, as we learned from our Enamel Vase project!  Having said that, it is really hard to keep from touching the mug all over after you clean off the surface.  Fingers crossed that my paint doesn’t peel off.

Maren - Mugs Doxie 1

 

Maren - Mugs Doxie 2

Pros:

Any way you try it, this project is awesome!  It didn’t take very long and looks great!

These suckers are gift-worthy!

Cons:

As my first go-round with stencils, I biffed the sticky stencil method about 4 times before it passed the OCD test.

This isn’t even a “Con” because you can just quickly wash the paint off, wipe with more rubbing alcohol and try again!

Martha!  Why do you make me wait 21 days to wash this?  I sure hope that they really are dishwasher safe!

Maren - Mugs White

Conclusion:

I love stenciling!  I can’t wait to make more mugs and stencil all sorts of things for our new house!

Also, as a huge fan of the monogram, I am really looking forward to making some truly personalized gifts for housewarming parties, wedding showers and new neighbors!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: To spice up my boring white coffee mugs with a little simple design.

 

Details:

  • Headed straight to Michaels with my 50% coupon on hand for vinyl stencil stickers. Yay! Now the hard part, I loathe making decisions….Martha had a huge stencil selection so I stayed for about 15 minutes trying to decide which one! I decided on letters that match my cute monogrammed kitchen towels. Luckily I had the coupon, those vinyl stencils were $16.99. Ouch!
  • I went to my handy dandy stash of black Folk Art paint in Licorice and a small paint brush.
  • Stressing again on my design, Mike suggested using both our initials. So I ended up with an E and an H. We will both be equally represented in this household!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use rubbing alcohol on the mug before painting and to clean your stencils after painting.  We learned this very important trick when we tried and failed and tried again at our Enamel Painted Vases.

I wasn’t the best at removing the stickers so I had a few mess ups.  Quick fix: once dried…just take a paper clip end to remove extra paint. Now be careful when painting don’t put too much or the paper clip may take off more than you would like.

Kristy - Mugs 1

Pros:

Simple, quick and cute! Loved it!

Cons:

I am a dishwasher type of gal and I think these mugs may no longer be safe for this.

Despite the baking, I am nervous they make scratch so I’ll be sure to hand wash.

Kristy - Mugs 2

Conclusion:

Overall this was an easy project and quick to complete.  The most time consuming part was centering the initial.  Now I am considering doing Christmas mugs for gifts!  This would be perfect gifts for my clients, as well as, friends and family. Being a Louisiana gal, I think some cute Fleur de lis mugs would be my next project for my place…maybe even on bowls!  Just a thought!

 

Mug Conclusion

 

The lovely Number Stenciled Mugs and their photo by The 36th Avenue


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I’m With Cupcake has shared a terrific tutorial on mitered corners with their DIY Napkin tutorial.

With the help of Lindsey from Hot Polka Dot, I’m With Cupcake lets us in on the secret to perfect corners!

 

Please click here to visit I’m With Cupcake and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: To ACTUALLY sew. Just saying that makes me sweat.

 

 

Details:

I decided that since sewing is not really “my thing” I was going to make the most out of this while also being incredible lazy (pattern forming here…). I opted to create the “Perfect Edge” on a piece of fabric I was using for another Crafty Collaborative project. So I basically created a little rectangle with very little purpose but it was just the right size for my first attempt.

  • I used a cotton fabric (fat quarter I acquired from a random fabric store visit with my mom and sister who are much better at this than I) with an adorable elephant print.
  • I attempted to measure properly for each side but ended up sort of eye-balling it (I am actually very accurate this way).
  • I was also using a Singer sewing machine, that is older than, me from the 70’s (I am still quite youthful so this is saying a lot!).
  • My thread choices were light but didn’t match perfectly. I chose a pale lilac and white. Again being lazy I made these choices based on the fact that I would have to attempt to fill a new bobbin if I didn’t just go mismatched (I actually did attempt and pictures are featured in this post about my epic fail).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be PATIENT. Also it is okay to throw out an f*bomb here or there. In fact I highly recommend it otherwise you might actually get physical with the machine and that never ends well. Definitely read the directions and look closely at the pictures because they really do give you the best idea on how things should look step by step. I didn’t realize I could let the corner overlap a bit creating a smoother, more polished finish.

Pros:

Not NEARLY as hard as I thought it would be! Written well, even for a novice like myself.

Cons:

There really were not any cons. I found this project to be very realistic and the instructions very clear. Visuals are key though!

Conclusion:

An excellent first sewing project for someone like myself and I may venture into doing a few little cloth napkins next. Watch out kids because matching jammies could be on the horizon!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission: Whip up a little something for my home with a perfect corner!  It’s always great to learn new (and easier) ways to get great results!

 

Details:

  • I read the instructions, and decided right away that I would have no use for fabric napkins. Instead, I would make a dish towel for my kitchen.
  • I have a lot of extra fabric scraps from past sewing projects, so I dug through those first before running to the craft store. Alas, I came across a floral linen fabric that would be perfect for this project!! Sweet success!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would suggest eye-balling (a technical sewing term) the ¼” fabric press, as it can be cumbersome to have it measured out perfectly. If you’re a perfectionist, which I am not, use a small ruler.

Have fun! Sewing can always be frustrating when you are a beginner, so go into any sewing project with an open mind and be sure to know that it probably won’t be perfect, but that just means it has character.

If you want to make a kitchen towel like I did, I cut the fabric to 17” x 24”.

Pros:

Such a great sewing technique to learn, I’m sure I will use this technique again.

Super easy, definitely a good project for a beginner! Good way to use extra fabric.

Cons:

The fabric I used isn’t ideal for a towel, but I was successful at not having to make a trip to the craft store!

Conclusion:

Overall, a quick and easy project to whip out. I don’t see any use with fabric napkins, but could see it would be fun to make them for a special occasion or a holiday meal.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Katie

Mission: Make napkins in any print/fabric of your choice

 

 

Details:

This was my very first attempt at sewing….ever.

I received the fantastic brother as a birthday gift. I got very frustrated trying to create the mitered corners per the instructions…it’s me, not the instructions…I’m terrible with anything resembling math, especially geometry and so I modified the way that I cut the corners. They are not the “perfect edge” but look just fine from the front side of the fabric.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I didn’t use the pins. I forgot all about them.

Pros:

There are endless possibilities for fabric choices; great décor piece to customize for party themes, gifts, etc.

Cons:

For a truly beginner sewer, it seemed like a lot of effort for a napkin.

Conclusion:

I’m sure with more practice, this would be a super quick and easy project to make for any occasion.

 

 

 

The darling DIY Napkin and it’s photo by Lindsey of Hot Polka Dot

 

P.S.  Try kicking this project up a notch by adding your own touch.  Check out our Stamped Napkins Review


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Calico Skies has shared a super neat tutorial on how to create your own DIY Screen Print Tee.  With simple materials, your own design can grace your garb!

Always searching for new ways to inspire our inner fashionista, we were ready to give screen printing a try!

 

Please click here to visit Calico Skies and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Create a semi-professional looking screen print for my dino loving middle child.

 

 

Details:

  • 6″ Plastic Embroidery Hoop
  • Mod Podge Original Gloss Finish
  • Martha Stewart High Gloss Beetle Black
  • Bing image of T-Rex
  • In the original post she used nude panty hose but all I had was black and with the help of a metallic pen that worked out just fine.

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    The Mod Podge application goes on the side of the embroidery hoop that will lay flush with the item you are printing on. I think that doing a couple of coats may help make the image a little more clear too.

    I would suggest picking a basic shape for your first attempt. I think the image I chose was a little more advanced for this amateur screen printer.

    Getting the nylons really tight on the embroidery hoop is key! I feel like my first attempt it was a little loose. I plan to correct this issue the next time I try this.

    Pros:

    Not too many supplies needed that you may not have. I did have to purchase the embroidery hoop but that was it. Not bad for creating a unique looking t-shirt.

    Cons:

    Live and learn. Sadly if you LOVE the shirt you are printing on you may be disappointed with a less than perfect result. I felt better after doing a little test print on a piece of paper before making it “happen” on my little guy’s shirt.

    Conclusion:

    I already have a unicorn in the works for my daughter and niece. I can’t wait to see if my little adjustments make a difference. This could be an addicting craft for sure…I may run out of surfaces!

     

     

    Reviewer #2 – Sarah

    Mission: To doll up some plain T’s and try my hand at screen printing!

     

    Details:

    • I was racking my brain as to what I should do for a t-shirt design and finally landed on going with a CrossFit inspired design. If I haven’t mentioned before, I CrossFit and I am OBSESSED!!! After a bit of research, I landed on a design with a kettle bell – I love me some kettle bell!
    • Outside of purchasing the embroidery hoop, the Mod Podge and the t-shirts, I had the remaining elements on hand.
    • I used the Martha Stewart Crafts satin all-in-one paint and my favorite Martha Stewart paint brushes.
    • Maren had lots of panty hose handy (don’t ask!) so she supplied those.

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    A few of us Crafty Collaborative gals got together to start this lovely craft, though we weren’t able to finish them together since it was a bit of a time suck. I tell you – that Mod Podge takes a hell of a long time to dry!!! And, if you want your edges to be PERFECT…you better plan on doing a few coats.

    After completing this craft, I’d recommend using a fabric only paint vs. an all-in-one paint. The Martha Stewart Crafts all-in-one paint is fantastic, but I had a bit of trouble with my red heart bleeding (no pun intended!) after the first wash.

    In addition, I would recommend not putting the paint on super thick if you are using a thin shirt/fabric as mine bled through causing it to become rough and folded when I was wearing it.

    Make sure when you are doing this that you put the Mod Podge on the side of the hose that will be lying flat against your fabric surface. AND, most importantly, if you are doing any sort of typeface, make sure you place it on so that when you screen print, it will read correctly and not backwards – this took me awhile to figure out.

    Pros:

    A fun way to dress up an old t-shirt or show off your favorite things in a wearable form!

    Cons:

    This project took longer than I had planned due to the application of many layers of Mod Podge as I was pretty finicky in applying it wanted to end up with clean edges.

    Conclusion:

    I was excited about this project and enjoyed doing the process, but wasn’t as excited with the outcome as I had hoped. I’d love to try this again sometime, but will modify a bit. And, if I for some reason I plan to do a lot of screen printing in the future, I may just find myself a Gocco screen printer online!

     

     

    Reviewer #3 – Janet

    Mission: First thoughts on the project: Looking at the instructions, I figured that Lauren on Calico Skies was making it look way cooler/easier/beautiful than it really was going to turn out. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to this project.

     

    Details:

    • I had an embroidery hoop, but thought it would be too small for my project. I purchased a humongous one, which I actually didn’t even end up using, because the small one worked perfectly.
    • Thanks to all of the other TCC projects, I already had acrylic paint (Martha Stewart’s Wedding Cake in satin), Mod Podge, and brushes on hand.
    • I used a green tee that I already had in my closet from this summer and Maren provided the hosiery at our TCC gathering!

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    Figure out your design before you buy an embroidery hoop so you know what size to get.

    I suggest three to four layers of Mod Podge so you don’t miss any spots.

    Don’t select an intricate design…you will drive yourself crazy trying to get the Mod Podge on just right.

    Pros:

    Actually was very easy (though I didn’t believe it would be from the looks of the instructions) and had minimal mess.

    Cons:

    The lines didn’t turn out as crisp as seen on the blog. I think if I would have put a little more time into painting the Mod Podge on smoothly, it might have helped.

    Not sure how well the shirt will go through the wash, but it was so cheap to make that I won’t be upset if it doesn’t make it out alive.

    Conclusion:

    Gotta love not having to spend 1 penny on a project! (blessing in disguise that I didn’t have to make yet another trip back to the craft store…I never come out of there without an impulse buy!) This is a great way to spice up an old T, or even make a festive outfit, like my shamrock that I will be rockin’ on St. Patty’s!

     

     

    Reviewer #4 – Maren

    Mission: To learn how to screen print!  This seems like a really neat and cost effective way to transfer images at home.

     

    Details:

    • I’m from Minneapolis where some of the bad-a$$ kids have “612” tatts, which is the area code.  Since I’m more of the “work-from-home” bad-ass, I decided to emblazon one of my favorite sweatshirts with the digits.  LOL
    • I found a great neon orange fabric paint called Neon Fiesta Orange.  So… it’s glittery.  How did I not notice that when I bought it?  This might hurt my street cred.
    • I used a Small Wash Brush to paint on my Mod Podge Hard Coat in Satin Finish.
    • I happened to have a lifetime supply of those knee-high panty hose that you buy in the little plastic bubble at the drug store for a buck from my days in the salon (I would stuff them to use to fill out elaborate updos.  These came in handy for our project!

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out which way to draw the design on.  I way over-thought this step.  Just make sure that you are able to put the nylons down flat against the transfer surface.

    It also took me a couple tries to get the nylons really taut.  I think that this proved to be really crucial in getting a good print, as Lauren from Calico Skies mentioned in her instructions.

    I think that I applied 5 or 6 layers of Mod Podge  to make sure that the edges of the design were perfect.  You do need to wait a few hours in between coats, so be prepared.

    When I was done transferring my image, I hustled to the sink and gently rinsed the paint off with warm water.  The Mod Podge looked a little gummy, but I let it dry out and it’s ready for the next 612 screen print!

    I washed my beloved sweatshirt inside out in cool water and dried on regular for the first time and it the design held up perfectly!  It may have even looked better!

    Pros:

    LOVE IT!  I also really like the way the fabric paint turned out!

    This project was easy to do and super inexpensive!

    Cons:

    To get a crisp print, you’ll need to take the time to get it right.  This project took me a total of about 4 days.

    Conclusion:

    I really liked this project!  Even though it took a few days to complete, I was very happy with the results.  I am already thinking of other projects that could benefit from a little screen print action!

     

     


    The lovely
    DIY Screen Print Tee and it’s photo by Calico Skies


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As soon as we laid our eyes on Shannanigans’ Stamped Napkins, we were hooked!

Always on the search for personalized gifts and unique home decor, this project seemed nearly too good to be true!

 

Please click here to visit Shannanigans and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission:  This was a perfect addition to a closing gift I gave to my clients when we closed on their first home!

 

Details:

  • Instead of acrylic for the stamp which is pricey I used the glass from a picture frame
  • Black charcoal fabric paint
  • Pack of simple white kitchen towels from Target
  • Reusable stamps  (rustic looking)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to practice on a paper towel first! What a frickin mess I would have made! Originally, I strayed from the instructions and dipped the stamp into the paint but it turned out to be a gob mess on the paper towel.  I found painting the stamp with paint worked the best for me.  It still didn’t leave the desired thickness of paint so I had to go over my strokes with a paint brush.

Pros:

It was super simple!

Cons:

Truth, it wasn’t as simple as I expected, I thought I’d dip and stamp. It took a little more time to paint the stamps each time then touch up.

Conclusion:

Makes a great gift and there so many things you can stamp!  Great way to personalize a gift by adding an extra special touch!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create some darling stamped dishtowels for a useful craft that I can use in my own home, or gift to friends!

 

Details:

  • To get this project going, I had to do some serious searching for the letter stamps – they were HARD to find! I ultimately found them at my local JoAnn Fabrics and did have to splurge a bit…good thing they have their frequent coupons! I think I ended up spending about $25 for the stamps, paint and acrylic forms. I had the kids in tow and didn’t feel like heading to another location to find the acrylic cheaper, so just went with it.
  • I purchased my dishtowels at Target and honestly bought the cheapest ones I could find. They ended up being $1 each.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have fun with this! Use any color of fabric paint you want and be creative with the words you use. I tried using upper case with a mix of lower case and enjoyed adding in some punctuation.

Pros:

A useful outcome! And, pretty darn cute – you could get really creative with your stamped words.

Cons:

Slightly expensive to get all of the materials, but if you took the time to shop around enough, I imagine it can be done for much less.

I do really wish I would have done this on a canvas bag – which I could have easily sewn first. I think I personally would have found that the most useful – like for our library book bag, produce, etc. But, dishtowels are always handy and make cute hand-made gifts!

In addition, I did have a hard time getting the paint to press evenly when transferring from the stamp to the cloth, but all in all, they can’t be perfect 🙂

Conclusion:

Great project to do – easy and fun! And, the tools to do this project will be utilized again and again, so well worth the initial cost

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Mandy

Mission:  Come up with an easy, cute holiday gift. (Yes, I’m one of “those people” that make my presents… ha.)

 

Details:

  • I went to Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics and could NOT find acrylic letters. I even asked around. This may be an item you have to search around for (or maybe I just had bum luck…) or you may want to consider shopping online for some.
  • I ended up buying some wooden letters and shapes that I thought might work as well. Just call me MacGyver.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Give yourself time to find the correct items and do the project. I always try to do thing fast and, therefore, couldn’t get quite what I had in mind.Although they did still turn out cute.  The wooden letters worked just fine – maybe just not the “stamped/blocky” look I had in mind.

Pros:

Didn’t take a ton of time and could end up being super cute gifts!

Cons:

Finding the letters. My fingers were covered in fabric paint, so a tad messy.

Conclusion:

Love the concept. I just need to find these letters so I can see if I can make some super cute worded towels!

 

The lovely Stamped Napkins photo taken by Shannanigans


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The Imagination Tree suggested their absolutely cute Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakefor a quick and cost effective Father’s Day present!

Intrigued by the allure of a personal and thrifty gift, the girls of The Crafty Collaborative rolled up their sleeves and dove in!

 

Please click here to visit The Imagination Tree and the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Mandy

Mission:  Bond with my nephews and make a cute (and cheap) keepsake that they can give to mom, dad, grandma and grandpa!

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written except for being strict on the time. Well, actually used Kosher salt as that’s what I had available. 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used more water than the recipe called for so make sure you plan accordingly.

Mine didn’t look as smooth as the photos in the original recipe did. Maybe it was the Kosher salt?? It is a bit grittier than normal table salt.

Pros:

Easy and kid-friendly! Plus, when I put my pup’s (Ruthie) paw in it, she totally didn’t mind as I think it tasted good to her when she got to lick it.

Cons:

Takes awhile to cook. Make sure you are not in a rush and can be at home while it’s cooking. Also, don’t forget about it like I did.

With such a long cooking time, I totally spaced on watching the time! Whoops.

Conclusion:

When I finally remembered to take the creations out (which I still think ended up being around 3 hours later), they cooked up just fine and didn’t burn at all. They could have maybe even gone longer as the centers were still a little moist. Definitely will make these again with my nephews for fun, affordable gifts for the fam!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create a keepsake of my children’s footprints with salt dough.

 

Details:

  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Darling kiddos!
  • Acrylic paint

Tips & Tricks Learned:

You have to push the kids hand or foot into the salt dough a bit firmer than you may think to make a good impression of their print.

Pros:

SUPER easy to do and we had all of the materials on-hand.

Awesome keepsake for yourself or a gift for a loved one. 🙂

Cons:

My kids are a bit young to really understand the acrylic painting technique – but it all turned out great.

This project is somewhat time consuming – due to the bake time and then paint and dry time. We did the project over the course of two days.

Conclusion:

The kids and I had a great time making the salt dough forms – they turned out really cute too!

This is a sweet family project that you can cherish for years to come – and you could even do this as a yearly project. It would be a great project to do as a new mom with your infant as a keepsake of those cute tiny hands and feet 🙂

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: To turn dough into art! I am creating shapes for my kids to paint on a rainy day.

 
 

Details:

  • I went into this craft knowing there would be some things I would change and may do differently.
  • I decided that I would use my KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer
    instead of doing the work manually. At first this seemed like a great idea but then I could tell that no amount of mixing, adding flour and water was going to make it smooth. So I opted to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it like bread dough. This was the trick!
  • I lightly floured the counter and kneaded for about a minute and then used the roller to make it smooth and about 1/4 inch thick so I could cut out shapes.
  • I used small cookie cutter in various shapes. 3 of each to keep it fair with my kids of course!
  • I also used Kosher salt since the recipe didn’t call for specifics. I wonder if that may make a slight difference in texture.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Hand kneading is key and adding just a little water and just a little flour at a time is best. I only ended up adding about 1 tablespoon of water and about 2 tablespoons of flour to get the desired texture.

Pros:

This recipe requires cheap ingredients in small amounts so it is extremely economical and fairly readily available if you need a rainy day project.

Cons:

It is clear that you need to perfect the amounts and your kneading technique to make this a “quick” project.

Plus the amount of time it has to bake might make the waiting unbearable for little ones.

Conclusion:

I still think this will be a fun project to surprise my kids with and I KNOW they will love decorating them. I even cut out some small shapes that we could add magnets to.

I will definitely try this again but may try heating the water and salt together to make the dough smoother. Much like you would with a playdough recipe.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Maren

Mission: The second I saw this project there was just one thing was one my mind.  Pawprints!  I couldn’t wait to stick my pup’s paw in some dough!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think that there really is an exact recipe to make this stuff.  Having said that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to make it work.  You just have to wing it.  I tried to keep track, but in the end, I have no idea how much salt, water or flour was in the bowl.  I did use warmer water though, in hopes that it would help the salt dissolve.

After over-thinking everything, I finally just approached the dough as if I were making cookies.  I floured my work surface, and rolled the dough out to an even thickness.

Make sure that you wipe your pups paw off after pressing into the dough.  I think that Rosie’s paw was like a mini salt-lick in the end.

My paw print ornaments were not more than 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick, however they felt moist and soft in the center of the underside after baking for 3 hours.  I decided to bake for another hour, and then leave in the oven overnight.  The following morning they still felt damp on the underside’s center (I wonder if it’s because I used parchment paper?).  Since the top part was totally dried out, I flipped them upside down and baked them for another hour at 200 degrees.  Wa-lah!  Perfect!

When they were done baking, the ornaments looked like they were a little grainy, but they were totally smooth to the touch.

Upon painting my little paw prints, I noticed the dough sucking the paint into tiny air holes, the surface was pretty porous in some areas.  Lightbulb!  A porous surface should be sealed first with gesso!  After this brilliant idea, and after trying one with and one without… it was determined that they looked almost exactly the same in the end.  Damn it.

In terms of these bad boys being kid-friendly – it should be noted that I dropped one of mine [unpainted] onto the granite countertop from about 2 feet above, and another one [painted] from my hands onto the wood floor and neither one of them broke.  Yay!

Pros:

Totally easy.  Super cute!

My doggie was a good sport.  We were both happy about this being a pet-safe activity.

Cons:

There was a lot of guesswork in the bake time, but since it was such a low heat – it wasn’t a scary thing.

Conclusion:

This was an easy, fun project!  I am happy with how my puppy keepsake turned out, too!  I am already thinking of other things that I can make with this quick and easy dough!  I think that I might have to steal my nephew’s hand or foot to make a keepsake like The Imagination Tree’s!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sheri

Mission: Okay here’s that word that I’m not too comfortable with… “Dough.”

Dough needs the right flour to water ratio to work right. Dough gets sticky. You add more flour and then dough get crumbly. I often have a problem with dough. This project should be interesting…especially seeing the boys will be helping me.

Details:

  • After reading the instructions I was a little more at ease. 1 cup salt, 1 cup of flour, and half a cup of water. Easy. I let the boys help. They were super excited.
  • You simply combine the three ingredients and form a ball of dough.
  • The boys flattened their dough and of course wanted to make dinosaurs instead of handprint keepsakes.
  • We put them in the oven at 200°F for two and a half hours.
  • Logan decided to get creative and make a dinosaur egg fossil. Seeing he put plastic bones in it we couldn’t put it in the oven. I think it’s going to take weeks to dry.
  • The following day, they painted.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I found that the dough was a little too sticky. The predicament I hate to be in.  I added a quarter cup of flour and the consistency was much better.

Also, don’t use your kids tempera paints…you really should use acrylic.

Pros:

First and foremost the kids had fun. Clean-up was easy. Only 3 ingredients!

Cons:

Kids asking if they’re ready yet 50 times over a span of 2.5 hours.

Conclusion:

I have to admit it was a really easy dough to make. They boys had fun. Big bonus was that the clean-up was easy. I’m already thinking of things we can make with the stuff as gifts.

 

Adorable shot of the Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakes taken by The Imagination Tree


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Heather Hales Designs suggested a Hand Embroidered Felt Bookmark as the perfect last minute gift!

After seeing her cute creations, we were inspired to start stitching!

 

Please click here to visit Heather Hales Designs and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission:  A cute last minute gift?  Here, here!

 

Details:

I didn’t use wool felt for the entire project, as recommended. I chose a white cotton canvas for the top. I used baby blue polyester felt for the backing instead of wool felt because JoAnn rearranged their entire store and I was having a meltdown and just had to get out of there.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure that you select a pattern that can be easily stitched after you resize it.  I made a vintage pattern really tiny, then realized that was not such a great idea when I tried to do some of the stitches.

Pros:

This was easy, and i am happy with the finished product!

Cons:

Only easy if you have all of the equipment handy… if you’re not set up to sew on demand, then this might be a bigger project than you signed up for.

Conclusion:

I liked this little project.  I enjoy embroidery and sewing, so this was a quick, happy project for me to do.  I am looking forward to using this as a binder band, and making one or two for gifts as well!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To try embroidery for the first time and hone in on my sewing skills.

 

Details:

  • Elastic
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Embroidery Pattern
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not sure I have any to share.

Pros:

When complete, a super cute and handy tool!

Cons:

Definitely a craft project for the more skilled…or patient-minded kind 🙂

Conclusion:

Let’s just say this one was challenging for me! First off…for those of you that can embroider – I bow down to you. I definitely gave it a try and would LOVE to be better at this some day as I always ogle over the beautiful embroidery work I see out and about.

In addition, I was challenged even further as my sewing machine was having technical difficulties, so I had to hand-stitch the elastic and felt pieces together, which I am horrible at and it shows. All in all, I’m not overly happy with the outcome of this project, but want to try it again as I envisioned this as a darling craft!

Loved the idea of this craft – just not the execution I ended up with. Maybe next time!

 


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Fossil.Life.Style created some seriously cute D.I.Y. Matchbook Notes that we just had to get our hands on!

 

Please click here to visit Fossil.Life.Style and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission:  Okay, I have to admit they’re just super cute. The question I had was, “Are they easy to make and worth the effort?”  I was anxious to see how I would fare.

 

 

Details:

The instructions were easy and you didn’t really need too many supplies to complete these cute little notepads. I had everything I needed in the house:

  • scissors
  • rubber cement
  • paper
  • cardstock
  • ruler
  • stapler
  • sandpaper… for the added “matchbook” touch

I like to recycle so instead of going out and purchasing cardstock, I just recycled notecards I had and an old wall calendar.

The dimensions for the cardstock is 1.5” x 4.25”; and for the note paper 1.25” x 1.75” (I didn’t enjoy cutting the note paper…tedious without a paper-cutter)

A quick fold and a staple and they were assembled. And of course that finishing touch of a sandpaper strike-board on the back made the piece just more adorable.

 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I recommend using the edge of the ruler to help create a crisp fold. The use of old notecards was perfect. My brilliant idea of using my old wall calendar posed not to be so brilliant. The paper really wasn’t thick enough to hold good form, but it still worked.

Pros:

Super easy to assemble and they were not very time consuming.

Cons:

I found the dimensions were a bit small to get any “notepad” use out of them.

Conclusion:

Overall the matchbook notepads were really easy to make and not very time consuming. I could definitely see myself making them as party favors. Just make a quick little assembly line and they’re a breeze. My only recommendation would be to make them a little bigger. I think I might even make myself a few for my office with some of my scrap paper. Much better than my cut up pieces of scrap paper I have held with a binder clip at the moment. Again, it’s a great project for recycling! Get out your scrap pieces of paper and cardstock. Heck, you can even use your tissue boxes, those always come in pretty patterns. Grab a stapler and make some matchbook notebooks. It’s so easy and unique! I have to say this one was a success!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To make super cute notepads!

 

Details:

  • Paper
  • Sandpaper
  • Rubber Cement
  • Scissors / Paper Cutter
  • Stapler
  • Embellishments

 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I LOVE rubber cementJ It is a great glue!

Pros:

Super easy and fun to create and adorable too!

Cons:

Not sure of the true end use…a cute gift, but short shelf life.

Someone may mistake these for an actual book of matches, and will turn up disappointed when they find none!

 

Conclusion:

This is a super easy craft that honestly, anyone can do! It took me back to my days of elementary school where the smell of glue and the sound of scissors was the highlight of my day! I had a lot of fun creating these – and though I am not sure exactly how I plan to use them now, they sure are cute!!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Want to make cute little notebooks for my handbag?  Yes, I do!

 

Details:

 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I completely failed to follow the instructions.  My tip would be to read the entire post prior to beginning the project.  I guess I got excited.

Pros:

Easy to do.  Cute.

Cons:

Not the kick-in-the-pants good time that I was hoping for.

Conclusion:

This project was easy and turned out cute.  It just wasn’t for me.  Maybe if I was more into the paper that I was using or something… I bet it would be cute to use photos and stamps, etc.  I also think that this would have been better if I had one of those mega thick-staplers and perforated paper… because since I’m so anal retentive, it will probably drive me crazy that I have to tear the pages out and they won’t be perfect.  See the problems I have?  😉

 

 

Adorable Matchbook Notes photo taken by Amy Gizienski


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House of Earnest showed us some seriously stylish kitchen tools.

We can’t wait to try this project out!

 

Please click here to visit House of Earnest and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: To make super cute color block cooking utensils that make me feel like a cooking fashionista!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sand your [cheap] utensils before you paint! Also – be careful to keep them away from each other after spraying with the shellac – they’ll stick together!  I also re-taped prior to spraying with the shellac.  I did this to make sure that there wasn’t a big ridge of paint that would look bad, and make it so the tape couldn’t totally come off.

Pros:

Super easy and cute – I think that they would be a cute way to color coordinate a hostess or shower gift.

Cons:

None – I loved this!

Conclusion:

It was easy and they turned out super cute! Now that I have the huge can of the Shellac Spray, I am looking forward to making these for every housewarming and shower gift for the rest of time! I hope my friends and family are as excited about these as I am!

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  When I saw these on Pinterest I fell in love. They’re adorable and looked easy to do.

Details:

  • First I grabbed the kids’ paints and tried painting the utensils. That was a quick fail. The paint did adhere very well. I then broke out my acrylic paints and made some progress. I tried getting fancy…another fail. It just wasn’t one of those creative kind of days for me

Tips & Tricks Learned:

What I learned while making these today…stay with simple, and don’t leave wet painted spoons out where the three year old can reach them. Be cautious when removing the painters tape. Don’t apply the paint too thick there.

Pros:

Really not that difficult to do.

Cons:

Not something to do when the kids are around. All kids love to paint!

Conclusion:

They’re cute. Although I had a few fails and my three-year-old ruined a couple of them before they were dry, I think I would still make them again…Minus the peanut crew. I think these would pair really well with a cook book wrapped in a table cloth (another Pinterest fave) for a shower gift. Just stick these on top.
 

 

Fabulous and fashionable shot of Painted Utensils by House of Earnest


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