Craft-gasm! Things We Love To Do.

See how I’m sneaking that in there? Trying it out?

This round up has a lot of Christmassy things going on. And even some food. Yum.

Gift wrap and tags download, print and you’re on your way. You might be 15 minutes late but at least you won’t have Holly-Wrap with Poinsettia’s dancing around. Am I right?

Chai Tea Loaves I don’t care what you are, that just sounds good. Why is that at Christmastime people always gift food? And Sweets? Teachers must really LOVE a gift card every now and then.

Turn pallets into a reading corner Mmmmmmm. Craft-gasm.

LP Record gift tags for the musically inclined. Very unique.

World Map Printable. A great start to a family tradition. (I have something like this on my life list)

SNOWMEN and Marshmallows. My 2 1/2 year old just went crazy.

Deer printable gift tags.

Gift tags Make the season bright. Cheery. I like it.

Christmas Subway Art LOVE this.

Anthropoloie has nothing on your budget you can just put that $57 right back into your envelope. (Truth be told, I have a little crush on Anthropologie myself and I really have no idea what their stuff costs, other than … it’s spendy and I’m cheap and still kind of frumpy in style.)

For the GUYS which are always hard to DIY for. If they don’t enjoy building something, golfing, playing video games or drinking beer it can be really, really difficult to buy something for the males of your Christmas season. Books on how to tie knots? They got that 3 years ago. Fun golfing tips? So last year. The sweater you have wrapped in your closet … bring it back. I have no idea what guys like, I married one who uses his hands and brain all day, so a manicure? Massage! That’s it. But that has nothing to do with DIY or crafting. You could DIY their favorite meal or dessert? I need as much help as you.

Chandelier Ornament This is so pretty. I know of a girl in my house who would kind of freak out if this was on our tree.

Holiday Wreath without all the fuss.

Printable tea towel has kind of a sweedish look to it, very sweet.

Make house pillows or lavender satchels. Whatever you call them.

A grocery store tear off list I’m on an organizational kick which is more of a cleansing of unnecessary processes in my life … and piles.

More adorable gift tags.

Silhouette art maybe it’s the beach scene or the actual art but stuff like this always makes me want to try it.

Ladder Shelf! We actually might have a ladder in the storage unit I could do this with. Just yesterday I made a fireplace out of an old column we had for decoration purposes. It was free and now is functional (a mantle!) and much better to look at than the white walls of the apartment. (As always, thanks Dad, for the tools and you’re help. I more “commissioned” this fireplace than actually did the building this time.)

Felted soap I have a bit of a phobia of bar soaps. Don’t ask. I don’t know if this would solve that problem (since I wouldn’t have to actually TOUCH the soap) but it’s worth a try. I just can’t think of all the dried soap in the wool. That alone will give me the heebie-jeebies. BUT! I like the process of felting and this tutorial is a great one!

More gift tags!! Tis the Season.

Over the wreath madness? Want something else to look at? Try this pine cone portrait. Love. (I’m still all about the wreath madness, personally)

Mail themed gift tags Be cute AND on time.

All your packaging needs printable – tags! And other lovelies.

FOOD. Gingerbread Houses, DIY I need to do this just to say I did. Just for the fun of it. I don’t actually enjoy making these things because then what do you do with them? I don’t eat them, I’d rather not keep them all season, but they’re FUN and ADORABLE. And making something like this is kind of therapy for me. So yes. Lets.

Crepe Paper tree. I couldn’t resist.

(Folks, I trowel the internet and google search for tutorials but I also have some amazing go-to sites I check often. Obviously these are not at all my original ideas and I’m not the first person to assemble a list or things I like or enjoy to share with others. I do this as a way to bookmark the things I want to remember for later, or file away for another day. In the meantime, I share them all with you.)

Things We Love To Do {Holiday DIY Gift Giving}

By request! Here’s some great ideas for Holiday Gift Giving …

For Animal Lovers

Build a ranch style dog house and be the talk of the family with your mad skills. Also? The dog sits at your feet for Christmas Dinner … slippers need not apply.

A gate for animals or families with 2 legged creatures. A much better rendition than the plastic house-gates.

For The Ladies

No Sew Market Bag – Here in Holland we have a pretty lovely Farmers Market and everyone carries around the same bag/basket. It’s cute – we all love them, but who doesn’t love to stand out?? A bunch of beets, carrots and beans hanging from this lovely bag spells “Oh, where did you get that bag??!!” and results in a chuckle and “It was a gift.” Aren’t you smart?

Trivet! Made from a tree stump – LOVE. Not every lady is a homey type girl who likes to bake and host parties, agreed. But … pretty much all ladies like pretty things that are multipurpose. No need for a hot pad? Check out my new candle plate (trivet)! Or my little key tray (trivet)! Or the coffee table centerpiece (trivet)!

Personalize a market bag for another option to the market? Gym tote? Grocery bag? I love me some bags.

Cloth napkins again, multipurpose. And lovely.

Tote bag great for travel, a miniature dog, diaper bag that doesn’t advertise PARENT!, hand bag, dance class change of clothes bag … you get the idea.

For The Gents

Tool cart! A peg board extravaganza. (I secretly want this because I’m the tool-wielder in the house) So nice!

For Kids

Alright – I have a couple ideas here but if you’re sending gifts to an entire extended family (or gifting them at the holidays) a GREAT idea for a family with kids is a craft kit. Say you can organize/compile 4 different crafts (and one per child at that) into large zip-loc bags with instructions … the all the parents need to do on a rainy day or Saturday at home is pull out the CRAFT BOX!! Hours of quiet and happiness ensue.

Princess crown make the little ladies feel like princesses, and change it up to a SUPER HERO for the boys. You can theme an entire gift like this for kids – they will not care about the rest of the presents because they’re busy using yours. I promise.

Cowboy boots AH!!! These are awesome. Again, feel free to change it up for boys too. A great gift for the almost/beginner walker.

Monsters Craft! This would be a good one to gather supplies for in the zip-loc bags. You should assume most households have glue, tape and painting supplies. If something extra special is needed … include that.

Indoor Hopscotch You are my new best friend. An organized game that allows jumping and the throwing of small, approved objects in the house. A PLUS!

For The Home

Portable Fire Pit a mini version of your favorite Summer Pastime. Include a basket of s’more fixings for inside. (I just saw in a Southern Living Cookbook a recipe for making s’mores with Ritz Crackers … a nice indoor alternative)

Bean Toss out door game for a yard or parking lot. Fun. Coupled with a 6-pack of cream soda. Done.

Outdoor Bar Cart Simply build this, that’s enough. For an extra oomff? Add a martini shaker and the fixings to your favorite ‘Tini.

DIY Coffee table with casters made with pallets – which are easy to find and almost always free. These are pretty vogue right now – industrial ware turned furniture.

Room Divider ooooh, pretty.

Personalized pillow pretty and functional. We all have pillows, right?

Balsa wood ornament great for the holidays and so pretty. This could be a fun, yearly tradition with a whole family.

Personalized Note Cards I like the idea of making them to match your house. Pretty sure that wouldn’t be too difficult if you could mess with a photo or even trace it then scan it … hmmmm.

Homemade spice mixes and vanilla YUM.

Embellish a pillow droooooollll. I love these floral details.

A shelf in an unused space above doors. Not only good for a bathroom or utility room – awesome for a bedroom … books and trophies. In an office? Love.


Burlap wreaths I love the look of these, you can choose different colors and ways of tying them on, too.

Rolled paper wreath in a square.

Beautiful rose wreath timeless.

Driftwood wreath! Rustic.

Things We Love To Do

Wall Flowers I love this. I would use it to write each and every one of my Life List items on them and then have a tree of dreams on a wall that “fall” into a jar when one comes true.

Ahoy Matey! Use a spool (dumpster diving anyone??) or some scrap wood you have laying around to make these little side table. I would highly recommend hunting down a development that’s currently got some buildings or houses going up – they throw the BEST stuff away. Ask nicely if they wouldn’t mind if you took a look through the dumpster on your own time and stayed out of their way to do it … they might even ask if you have friends. Saves them time and money for hauling a bunch of stuff away – especially if you take it with you right away.

Vampires Suck browse through this website for more entertaining posters. This one was geared towards Halloween obviously – but if you’re a Twilight fan … I’m pretty sure you appreciate this no matter the time of year.

ABC print I think I finally have to make work of having an alphabet wall. With all the beautiful and free posters/prints out there – your wall can look amazing and very custom for the cost of a few frames … or you could make those too.

Smitten for the foxy kitten I love this little fox. So throw-back to Little Red Riding Hood, hot chocolate and an afternoon spent pretending to live inside of my sleeping bag. Good days!

Dish Stamp. Enough said. Beautiful. Card making this Christmas? Monogram the crap out of that stock paper. You’re welcome.

Granted, this is a spider meant for Halloween but the idea is adorable. We tried making these the other day but I didn’t follow any kind of directions so they came out a little wonky. As in … My spider bodies were more like a lopsided snow cone. Ehum. But maybe you could switch it up and make an octopus? Or Ladybug?

Super cool back splash in a kitchen – changeable! and also, scroll down to see fabuloso repurposed old light fixtures.

Store this idea away for next year, or for the Christmas pageant an angel in just minutes. And you thought they only looked that sweet and innocent in their sleep.

T Shirts! I even like the mummy. But I might like monkeys and whales and mustaches too. Ideas, folks.

Hand warmers out of socks now that pile of socks in your laundry room with no mate? They have a purpose. You were saving them for a reason, remember?

I like old stuff but some times I can’t find what I want for my price or it just doesn’t exist in my area. So we improvise. Old signs are kind of a crutch of mine. One I have yet to actually purchase, but I swoon over every. single. one.

Butterflies! Use them for wall art, cut outs for crafts or to learn to draw. They’re pretty no matter what you do with them.

I have been looking for plans for something like this for a very long time and now I have them. I will be building this. YAY!

Leggings with adorable buttons. Details? You obviously care.

I love this tutorial on making floral head-stuffs for little ladies although playing with fire? Is something we only do after leaving the oven on for 3 hours while people sleep in the house. Then we drink HFCS and eat boxed man n cheese for dinner. I kid! I kid. We drink KOOL-AID.

Making crowns and pretending to be a princess? We do that every day.

Place cards! Table runner decorations! Ornaments! Coffee Table cuteness! the list goes on. These are awesome.

Oh the tree we’ve discussed this already.

Milk Carton Printable ok. My mind goes kind of crazy with ideas for this. What can you put in a milk carton? It can be gift bag, a party favor, it can full of dried mixes for baking, it can be used in “pretend” grocery stores, it can be full of treats for chores, treats for potty training, treats for pets. You can “bowl” with them in your living room. On and on and on and on. What would you do with it?

Linen napkins I would make them and then come up with reasons why we shouldn’t use them. Like … they’re pretty. That’s a good one.

UGLY SWEATER! hahahaha.

Dress up dolls, winter Paper dolls are very fun. We print and make them, play with them and dress them often.

Cardboard guitar? YES. Just yesterday we were getting schooled on how our daughter wants to be a “rocking star” when she grows up. What does that include? A guitar, mom. Duh.

{Life List} Carpentry: Floating shelves

***Update at end of post for complete Cut List***

I don’t even know how to start this post. With some background?

We’re building this house and at the meeting where I went to pick out carpets, paint and counters and cabinets I told them with lots and lots of conviction that I wanted nothing to do with Upper Cabinets and No Microwave.

There were some blank stares coming back at me. And then they asked – how do you cook without a microwave?

I just had to giggle.

This is what I was after:


Photo Credit

Inspiration from the obvious as well as around the webershpere, magazines and what-have-you.

I had decided on these plans for the shelves but needed a different cut list because I was going to need six shelves total at 2 varying lengths. 42 inches long and 32 inches long.

So, other than my cut list being different – we followed the plans to a T. (And so can you)

In order to end up with two 42in long shelves and four 32in long shelves – all 11 3/4 deep (we did this instead of 12in deep to save a lot of waste in lumber) you’ll need:


2 – 4X8 sheets of 1/4″ Plywood (good grade or sanded on one side, also called cabinet grade, but just sanded on one side is fine too.)
11 – 1X2 pine boards in 8 foot length.


2 boxes (100 ea) 1 1/2″ sheet rock screws (or opt to use a nail gun and need less screws when building the sleeves)
1 counter sink bit
1 box (only need about 36) 3″ deck scews
Wood filler
Paint and supplies if you don’t already have it on hand.

Some stores will make cuts for you – if they do, ask them to cut one piece of your plywood into 4’X42″ and the other into 4’X32″ – this way it’ll most likely fit into your car for transportation and it doesn’t mess up the rest of the cuts for later.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

I, uh, had them cut my plywood in the wrong direction. They cut them into 8’X42″ and 8’X32″ … but it still worked out for us.

This here is a Mider or Chop saw. She is beautiful.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

My dad helped me make a shim so I could make continous cuts out of the 1X2 pine boards without having to remeasure every single one. And we needed a lot of cuts.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Hi Dad! Thanks for helping!

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

We went to work on assembling the frames and the front of the sleeves.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Then worked on our cuts of the plywood to build the body of the sleeve.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

My dad has awesome tools.

A peek at the inside of the sleeve, where the frame will fit.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

And a trial run!

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)


From there we used wood filler to fill in gaps and seems, let dry, sanded and filled some more depending on how smooth in turned out.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

Then … we painted them.

{Life List} Learn Carpentry (and now using it)

I went with white, “decorators white” as the paint can said. It’s a water based shinny whatever paint and it took 3 coats and only one quart of paint.

We had the builders quote us their price to build these shelves. I even emailed them the plans I was going to use – which clearly outlines the cost of what it would take to build these on your own. Their quote came back at $825.


It cost me …

Lowes – $66.08 (Lumber, screw bit, screws – and since I didn’t need them all I could return 2 boxes which saved more money.)
Paint – $35.56 (Quart of paint, one brush and 2 small foam rollers and one pan)
And a days worth of my time = priceless of course.

Total: $101.64

I don’t have a final “after” shot yet – they’re not hung in the house yet but they’re built! And I did it! With some amazing help and guidance from my dad. Thanks, Dad!!

Here is the cut list for a shelf 11 3/4″ deep by 32″ wide:

1″ X 2″ pine boards

1- 30 1/2″
2- 11 3/4″
2- 29″
2- 11″
2- 9 1/2″

1/4″ plywood ( one side cabinet grade)

2- 11 3/4 X 32″

Here is the cut list for a shelf 11 3/4″ deep by 42″ wide

1″ X 2″ pine boards

1- 40 1/2″
2- 11 3/4″
2- 39″
2- 11″
3- 9 1/2″

1/4″ plywood ( one side cabinet grade)

2- 11 3/4″ X 42″

When making the plywood cuts, make sure the grain of the plywood runs the long length, as in from left to right or visa versa on the length (32″ or 42″) of the shelf

We made 4 shelves of the 32″ and 2 shelves of the 42″ and purchased:

11- 1″ X 2″X 8′ long pine boards. Make sure they are NOT curved but straight. You may have to pick through the pile to find straight ones depending on where you purchase

2- 4′ X 8′ sheets of 1/4″ plywood one side having cabinet grade. Sometimes the store (Lowes or Home Depot) will cut the plywood to fit in your van or car. Have them make a cut to have 1 piece of plywood 42″ X 4′ and the other piece of plywood 32″ X 4′ or even 2 pieces of 32″ X 4′ depending on how many shelves you have. Then you can fit these cut pieces as well as the uncut pieces in your car or van and do the rest of the cutting at your shop or home

How To: Make a Wall Clock

How To: Make a wall clock

The kindergardener in the house is very interested in telling time, mostly because she wants a REAL watch but I told her I wouldn’t buy her one unless she could tell time on something non-digital. You know, like an actual clock.

We used to have phones with chords, too.

I just blew their minds.

After we realized we’d be hunkering down for most of the day yesterday (weather, tornado warnings etc) we got out our supplies:


I started by writing all the numbers on cardstock paper and then cutting them out.

How To: Make a wall clock

How To: Make a wall clock

Once I had all the numbers (1-12) we started taping the 12, 6, 3 and 9 and went from there filling everything in. Something about the law of opposites. Same rule when changing a flat tire. The star … any way.

How To: Make a wall clock

How To: Make a wall clock

Aha! A clock on the wall! Wait. Where are the hands?

How To: Make a wall clock

How To: Make a wall clock

That’s better.

Now you can sit down and bark times out and watch the learning lights brighten.

How To: Make a wall clock

Needless to say, she had a blast. She came home with a note from school a week or so ago letting me know that she had counted to 100 in fives so I applied that kind of logic to the clock to help her understand that the long hand tells time by counting in fives. So the One? Is really Whatever’o’clock:oh-five.

After a few practice runs and some counting in fives all together … she got the hang of it. Six is Thirty and Nine is Forty-five.

She’ll have herself a watch by Christmas, that one.