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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My Sister’s Suitcase has a terrific way to get meals organized with the quick and easy Dry-Erase Menu Planner.

 

They make it even easier by providing a super cute printable to pop in your own frame!

 

We were excited to try out this darling DIY and get dinnertime together!

 

 

Please click here to visit My Sister’s Suitcase and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: Let’s just say my mealtime planning consists of making sure I have fresh fruit and veggies on-hand at all times. Other than that, I am extremely inconsistent in planning our family meals and could use some help in this department.

It is my mission to not only create a DIY dry erase menu board to help organize our meal time plans, but then put it to use!

Details:

  • I didn’t have any frames at home that would work for this project so when we were at Target (which is A LOT) I found this cute vintage looking yellow frame that I decided would work. And, it was only $10.00, so it wasn’t going to break the bank!
  • I had already downloaded the free printable menu and tried printing it on some engineering paper we had on-hand from our college days. It added a little dimension to the finished product and I liked the added lines and holes punched in the paper. I printed it out on our Epson Laser Printer and it turned out pretty well!
  • My kiddos craft supplies came in handy for this project as I used their black construction paper and Elmer’s Glue Sticks to finish the job.
  • I honestly felt a bit uncreative with this project, so I opted to follow suit of the example and created a little pendant style flare with the construction paper.

The finished menu board is hanging in our kitchen and I have begun using it, but we will see how far this goes. I love to be organized, but sometimes try to do too much. I am hopeful our family mealtime planning will benefit from this!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Add a little simple flair to make this functional piece personal.  Whether it’s a colorful frame, or a little embellishment under the glass; you’ll love it even more that way!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Super easy to put together – just need a printer and some craft supplies!

A fantastic tool to help you plan your meals weekly – could really save you a crazy mind if you put it to good use. And, maybe even a few dollars!

Cons:

Not sure I can think of any. Just hope I actually keep this tool in use!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Super easy to create and a cute addition to any kitchen. Could also be a fantastic gift for a friend or family member.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I have a problem with buying food with all intentions of making meals, but then end up getting lazy and not making them before said food goes sour.

 

Details:

  • Nat and Holly‘s printable was SO cute, although I needed a horizontal situation – mostly because my handwriting is fairly s#!tty and I need all the space I can get.  I used good ol’ Excel to whip up some custom print outs that met my needs.  I also took the opportunity to make a cleaning schedule since I have been wanting to make one in a really long time – Click on my finished photo for a close-up!
  • I finished my Menu Planner with a little Washi Tape and a few buttons that I had in my stash.
  • I found my super cheap frames at the drug store, and stuck them onto the inside of my pantry door with 3M Picture Hanging Strips (they’re like Velcro) – so I can change what is in the frame as often as I like.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Measure twice, cut once.  Yes, this applies to paper, too!  I wasn’t thinking that my piece of printer paper could possibly not fit perfectly into my 8×10 frame.  I not only had to trim my paper, but I also needed to reformat my printable slightly.  Ooopsies.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

There isn’t any easier way to get organized out there.  Trust me, I have checked.

Cons:

None!  Love it!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Since making this planner, I have found myself sticking to the program!  I think that when you take the guess-work out of mealtime, it really helps to keep on track, whether it’s eating up your groceries, eating healthier, or just avoiding take-out or grazing.  Amazing to me what simply writing our meals down in a place where I became more accountable has done!

Maybe I just needed a little direction, but I love this thing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Create a fun way to keep track of weekly menu…hoping it helps with healthy eating!

 

Details:

      • Went to Joann for the fun print sheets that  I used for the circle design and the picture frame
      • I had glossy card stock at the office so this is what I printed the menu sheet on.
      • Leftover Mod Podge was used to glue down the decorate circle pattern using a sponge brush. This jar will last me for years!12 Super handy!
      • We had leftover Velcro Stickers and a dry erase marker.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

For the circular pattern, I traced several different objects to get the different sizes.

Remember to cut the paper to fit the frame first THEN add your design if you would like.  I failed to do this thinking that I would have no problem fitting the menu in. I was wrong, I had to end up cutting half of my pattern due to the frame size.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Easy and inexpensive!  Spent only $10 since I had most of the materials!

Cons:

Mod Podge was a bit sticky, but you can sew or use a glue stick if it is a mess.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Love, love! Can’t wait to use this board!! You could do this for a number of items around the office or household!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Amanda

Mission: Get organized and have a quick reference for my kids.

 

 

Details:

      • This project is great because it requires minimal prep and supplies. I purchased an 8×10 white frame from Target (all of $3.99 was spent).
      • Printed off a page using this lovely digital paper kit called Brown Basics from Lori Whitlock on jessicasprague.com. I just love these prints! I used a pretty decent card stock to print on so the colors and shapes were a little crisper. After creating my background I put the paper back in the printer and used it to print my Menu template on. Easy peasy! I decided to keep it simple and did not add any embellishments since my background has a pattern.
      • Using the glass out of my frame and a rotary blade, I cut my page down to size and put it together.
      • Affixed a dry erase maker in a cheerful teal to the top of my frame using the same Velcro Stickers used in the original post over at My Sister’s Suitcase.  Those little dots come in so handy.

Viola! You have the perfect little menu planner with tons of planning potential.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t over think this. A project this simple really is SIMPLE! Just choose a basic frame and look for your paper and go with it.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Quick, useful and cheap. All things I love!

Cons:

The dry erase marker is a little faint so I may need to switch to a deeper color.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I think I will use this idea to create a chore list too. My kids need to get more organized now that school has started and what a simple way to do it.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5  – Alicia

Mission: I am always looking to make my life a little more organized when it comes to cooking for the family each week. This project was perfect for me in every way!

 

Details:

      • The original post had such a cute menu option but I really wanted one that included some sort of grocery list so I could jot down items/notes. I found mine at delish-blog.com
      • Plain 8×10 black frame at Target for $3.99 (I wanted something simple)
      • Mini dry erase markers at the dollar section at Target
      • Cute cardstock and embellishments for decorating as well as some old magnets
      • Velcro Stickers

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used a combination of cutting and pasting 2 menu formats to give my final menu some pizzazz. I would also recommend using strong magnets and hot glue them to the back of the frame so it can stick to the fridge. If you stick this baby at eye level you will tend to actually use it.

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Love- this thing gets used- ALL THE TIME

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Why have I not thought of this before?! What a simple, yet creative idea!

I have purchased a fridge menu planner in the past for about $15 bucks and the thing was garbage!  The dry erase marker ink was permanently stained onto the board and it would not erase. Because you will be writing on glass, kiss those ugly stains goodbye.

This total project cost about $5 bucks for me. You could probably make this for less $$ if you use a frame that you already have. Now- GO AND MAKE DINNER ALREADY!

 

 

We Tried It!  Dry-Erase Menu Planner!  @thecraftycollab


The lovely
Dry-Erase Menu Planner and it’s photo by My Sister’s Suitcase


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Do you remember making forts when you were a kid like we do?  Our hearts fluttered when we saw the A-Frame Pup Tent by Lindsay & Drew thinking about how much fun it would have been to have a fun little spot like that!

 

Time to bust out some power tools and make a tent!  Next stop, a campfire with cowboys in the desert, or maybe we’ll be astronauts building a house on the Moon!

 

Please click here to visit Lindsay & Drew and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Put my hubby to work (and his power tools) to create a playful little hide out that my kids will enjoy and will be easy to store.

 

Details:

  • I busted out an old flannel flat sheet of my daughter’s for this project. In our house flat sheets are not our friends so we put it to good use. It was twin size and perfect for this project.
  • I put my hubby in charge of purchasing the other supplies and although I was VERY specific he still felt the need to deviate and purchased a larger PVC tube. He of course gave that a try and realized that as usual I was correct in my original request. Never cross a momma on a mission!
  • We ended with the same materials used in the original post plus a little coupling to hold the wood in place and keep the tent a little more stable.

Amanda - Tent 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The coupling made a huge difference! I highly suggest it.

Also, it is key that you attach the inner wood piece to the inside of the A-frame and not the bottom. It will keep the whole thing more stable and may actually reduce the need for the coupling.

You may need to sand the inside of the whole slightly in order to fit the PVC inside it. That was our experience anyway.

Amanda - Tent 2

Pros:

The materials needed are fairly cheap and easy to find.

I felt it was such a bonus to use old sheets but I bet you could find them on the cheap at a second-hand store!

Think of all the fun your kids could have inside on a rainy day or outside when it is hot.

Cons:

I am not all that comfy with power tools so I left that part up to my hubby.

I would be very interested in learning how to use them…maybe in my next life.

Amanda - Tent 3

Conclusion:

This was a huge success.  Now to build two more so my kids will stop fighting over the one we have already built.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #2 – Alicia

Mission: Create a cool, foldable tent for my kids!

 

Details:

I was super excited to give this a try- how hard could it be to make an A-frame tent?! Apparently HARD!!! Holy-heck this project was a pain in my rear.

I carefully read all the directions and set out to Home Depot for supplies.

  • I guess I was totally not paying attention and purchased 3 1×1” boards (which required 1×2),
  • ¾” PVC pipe, caps and my hubby’s brawn to saw and attach. Yeah right!

So we begin to drill and noticed that the PVC pipe is ¾” in the middle and about 1” total in diameter. My hubby has a ¾’ drill bit and there was no way, even with wiggling the drill bit back and forth, it would fit. Back to Home Depot to purchase a 1” drill bit at $15 bucks- oh gesh! At this point I think Mark is about to leave me- seriously!

Alicia - Tent 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure, absolutely sure that you get all the correct boards and measurements for this job. It is pretty intense.

If you do purchase smaller boards, be careful not to split the wood with your drill (which totally happened to us). Home Depot loved us that week.

Alicia - Tent 2

Pros:

The final product is really cool.

Cons:

It is a little advanced for me. Not as easy as I thought.

Also, this tent is huge. I mean 5 feet long HUGE, but it does fold up.

Alicia - Tent 3

Conclusion:

I think I bit off a little more than I could chew with this project. Mark pretty much took this project over from start to finish. I think I attached the caps and helped staple on the fabric. My kids’ absolutely love it, though. My son has been under this thing for days; he has even been sleeping under it.

 

 Tent Conclusion


The darling
A-Frame Pup Tent and photo by Lindsay & Drew


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Chalkboard Frame

Miss Tweedle shows us the magic of spray paint with her Chalkboard Frame project. An outdated mirror is transformed into a fab chalkboard that would be perfectly darling in any home.

 

Eager to turn our own ugly finds into chic decor, we grabbed our spray paint and dove right in!

 

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

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To create a fun piece of art for our home, which is also purposeful!

 

Details:

I really wanted to find a fun frame to repurpose for this project. I searched high and low in my house, while I was out and about at a few stores and finally landed on one at a local antique store that I liked. It was ornate and gold…super cute! And, it had a print in it from San Francisco, which I found inspiring, as I will be traveling there later this spring.

Once I purchased the frame, I went to our local paint store and picked up the chalkboard paint as well as spray paint.

  • I chose a bright orange for the spray paint as I wanted something with pop and thought I may use this piece in the kiddos room.

Unfortunately, the frame I landed upon gave me some troubles. I couldn’t get the back of it off to figure out how I was going to paint it and finally figured out that it was set in place with large staples. After getting those removed with my trusty needle-nosed pliers, I taped off the plexy glass front with painters tape and a piece of paper and then set to spray painting the outer frames outside. I laid the frames onto an old beach towel I didn’t mind ruining and set to work.

This is where my second issue arrived – the paint was NOT adhering well to the frame. I am not sure if the frame had any coating on it due to being an antique, but it took me three coats of the spray paint to get to where it is now. I still don’t love how it looks, as the paint isn’t evenly coated on the frame, but I do like the added character it has. Or maybe I have to just succumb to the fact that it is what it is.

After the spray paint step, I then taped around the outer frame edges and set to work painting on the chalkboard paint. I used a disposable paintbrush for this step and later decided that wasn’t the best idea as the streaks are very visible and the painting did not go on smoothly. But, it still works like a chalkboard!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Really clean and wipe-off your frame before starting to paint – I learned this the hard way.

Sarah - Frame 1

Pros:

This is a very purposeful project and a fun added piece of décor.

Cons:

A bit labor intensive based on my poor choice of a frame. You will have a lot of chalkboard paint left over, so you may want to do this as a group project or find another piece to create into a chalkboard.

Sarah - Frame 2

Conclusion:

I want to give this project another shot – but will be even more choosy in my frame choice before I begin to make certain I know what I am getting myself info.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: What a fabulous idea for an old junky picture frame! I love a good before/after project.

 

 

Details:

  • I was excited to use some trusty spray paint again! The stuff is just fabulous. Easy to use and comes in all sorts of colors and textures. The boys wanted green, their favorite color.  I did one quick coat on the frame and it came out great and dried really quickly.
  • I removed the glass from the frame and was left with some cheap particle board, but it seemed to work just fine. I applied three coats of Martha Stewart’s chalkboard paint in black.
  • I let it cure for 24 hours as instructed, put the frame back together, and it was ready for use.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sponge brushes work great for this project.

Sheri - Frame 1

Pros:

Really easy project, especially great for those who like to yard sale hunt.

Cons:

None!

Sheri - Frame 2

Conclusion:

This was a really great project. I wish I had a more unique looking frame that needed revamping, but this turned out just fine. Better than tossing it in the trash, and the boys loved it! I feel the need to make one for my kitchen.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Janet

Mission: I was so excited when I saw this project from Miss Tweedle because I have had an old framed mirror that I have been wanting to repaint since college! The only tweak I made to the project is not turning the inside area into a blackboard, I really wanted to keep it as a mirror.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

LIQUITEX is BOMB.COM! I’m a failure when it comes to spray paint, but this stuff was so easy to use, the spray button was comfortable to press, and the paint came out smooth and even! I will for sure use this again for other projects requiring spray paint. It comes in a wide array of colors, so you can just go wild with it!

If you are painting outside, make sure it isn’t a windy day so the spray doesn’t go all over. Also, be sure to get all of the nooks and crannies.

Feel like the $12 is a little too spendy for spray paint? Get a free sample of Liquitex spray paint before having to buy it! Just go to their website and request one!

Janet - Frame 1

Pros:

Like I said earlier, Liquitex is glorious and made painting so easy.

The project gave me such inspiration to finally finish another project I’ve been thinking about for years!

Cons:

No cons here. The only bad thing is that I can’t figure out where to hang my “new” vintage mirror.

Janet - Frame 2

Conclusion:

I absolutely love how my frame turned out! I have the urge to search for another frame to paint, and I might even try my hand at a framed blackboard. Possibly something to use at the reception for my November wedding….hmmm something to add to the wedding idea list!

Whether you are wanting to redo a frame that you have had on hand forever or you want to create the ever popular framed blackboard, this project is so easy and perfect for the craft beginner.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission: I love the idea of turning junk into treasure.  Ugly frame refashioned into a beautiful chalk board creation, I am totally in!  I ran across a hideous frame at Goodwill that was perfect from this project.

Details:

Tools needed: Fugly frame, spray paint, chalk board paint and tools to remove backings of frame (if needed).

Did I mention the frame I used was really hideous??!!! I used the card board that was in the frame for my chalk board material. The cardboard did take a few coats of paint before it was completed ready for chalk. It worked really well.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would recommend priming your frame before spray painting and let completely dry between coats.

Alicia - Frame 1

Pros:

All the amazing color options in spray paint are endless. This project came together very quickly and was fun to make.

Cons:

I am not sure what is wrong with me, but this project almost took the entire can of paint. I did not prime the wood. Oops! The wood of the frame was about 100 years old, which was hard to cover.

Alicia - Frame 2

Conclusion:

What an awesome project and the possibilities are endless. Very happy with the final look of my frame and it will be a nice addition to Lilly’s bedroom. I am now a crazy woman on the lookout for ugly frames to paint.

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Maren

Mission: In my quest to make our new home more “homey,” I knew that we needed a little something in our game room to encourage a little friendly competition.  We needed a scoreboard!  This project was that perfect “something” I had been looking for.

Details:

One look at the back of my Goodwill frame and I wasn’t even about to try and pry that sucker off.  I decided to see what happened when I just painted right over the whole thing, glass and all.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sometime’s it’s good to be a lazy crafter!  The finish of my chalkboard is rock hard, just like the huge boards from my school days!  The finish is actually so great, that it makes that horrible sound when you write on it… *shutter*.

Um, so be sure to be in a very well ventilated space.  Cracking the garage door won’t cut it; open the whole thing.  More on that later.

Maren - Frame 1.

Pros:

Love this thing!

The project was easy to do and the spray paint products that I chose were all terrific!

Cons:

I may or may not have gotten a little loopy from the paint fumes.

Maren - Frame 2

Conclusion:

So, I wonder how many chalkboards one can have in their home before it gets weird…  I can’t wait to make more!

In our last house, I painted the inside of our most-used cupboard with chalkboard paint for a special place for my honey and I to leave little notes for each other.  After this project, I think that I’ll take it up a notch at our new abode by adding a bright and glossy frame!  Can’t wait!

 

 Chalkboard Conclusion


The darling
Chalkboard Frame and it’s photo by Miss Tweedle


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