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Instacube

7 Apr

We all love instagram, but what to do with those square photos if you want to print them? It’s hard to find a square frame, and you can’t scale them much larger because of the quality. But I have a solution for you! Instacubes!

Supplies:

Wooden Block
Spray Paint (optional)
Photo Paper
Printer

First find a wood block. They have these wooden cubes at most craft stores. Measure a side of your cube.

Next, set up your favorite 6 instagram photos to print. I made mine a little smaller than each side of my cube so they all had a border, but you can go all the way to the edge as well.

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Paint your cube if you like, or keep its wood appearance. Once you’ve printed and cut your instagram photos, spray some spray adhesive to the back of each, and stick it on your cube.

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This is a simple, cost-effective, unique way to display your instagram photos. How cute would a bunch of these blocks be stacked up on a shelf? Or even as a fun centerpiece at a wedding filled with photos of the bride and groom! So many possibilities.

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I made this Instacube for Katie, one of our winners of our “Photo-a-Day Challenge” on facebook. Be sure to follow us for fun DIY updates and more contests!

Customized Camera Case

5 Mar

Once upon a time I had a bright orange camera, it was protected by a cute brown and white floral Vera Bradley wallet with a little pocket for my extra battery. Then some how, magically, the camera, case, and extra battery disappeared. I searched high and I searched low, I searched in and I searched out, with no trace in sight. Time was ticking and Saturday Studios were quickly approaching so I gave up and bought a new camera, but a case was out of my budget. Here is my solution:

Supplies:

Leather scraps – or fabric scraps

Embroidery floss

A thicker gauge needle

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I traced the outline of my camera on the leather scraps, making sure to leave some room around the edges to take in consideration the thickness of the camera. The leather scraps are placed so that the faces that are touching will become the exterior of the case and what is being traced on is the interior.

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Since the leather is pretty hefty, I used large bobby pins to hold it in place while I stitched the two pieces together.

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I then used the embroidery floss to do a not-so-professional looking stitch around my template. Then I just trimmed the edges down to a little less than a quarter of an inch from the stitching.

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Once it was all stitched, I flipped the leather right side out and stretched into the corners. I tried my camera inside and it fit nice and snug, but was difficult to get in and out of. That is where the brown strip of leather comes in.

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I just made a few cross stitches at the bottom seam, top edge and stitched the ends together. This allowed for a small pull on each end of the case to help with putting the camera in and taking it out.

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Here is an image of how the top strap just moves to the side while taking the camera out or putting it in. The strap also acts as a catch in case the camera tries to slide out on its own because I assume that over time the leather will naturally stretch a bit. This project took me a little over an hour to whip up and is a simple, customizable way to protect your electronics. I am going to leave mine very plain but this project can be personalized in a million ways – different types of fabrics, paints, bleaching, size it down for a phone, size it up for a laptop!

Heather

Budget-friendly Frame

23 Dec

Some of you may know it was my birthday at the beginning of December and my thoughtful sister, Anna, got me an amazing gift – a huge map with pins to mark where I’ve been and where I hope to go. I was excited to get it hung up and start marking off my past travels and future trips, but the walls in my apartment are very old, making the plaster super hard and crumbly(I don’t know how this combo is possible). Also, I realized that when I want to move, I would have to remove all of the pins individually. AND the map was so big (50″x32″) that any of the frames I found were upwards of $100. So I got to work on a much more budget friendly frame.

Supplies:

Cardboard/Foam Core

Tape

Glue – I used white glue and rubber cement

Staple gun or small nails and a hammer

Two small screws or nails and wire

Poster or photo

Canvas Stretcher Bars

photo-6Here is the inspiration – lots of pins and a very large map.

IMG_0037I even had the perfect spot on my wall for it! I hung it up with some tacks for the time being, which also helped to flatten the roll out.

IMG_0038I was out shopping for art supplies for my self-portrait when I came across the canvas stretcher bars and the lightbulbs went off in my head. For under $30 I could purchase these and assemble them to look like a frame.

IMG_0040They already have the corners mitered and are super easy to put together.

IMG_0059I had originally planned on buying the largest piece of foam core I could find to mount the map onto, giving the tacks something to go into, then I realized I had quite the cardboard box collection from my Christmas shopping. I decided instead to disassemble the larger boxes and tape them together to make the backing.

IMG_0060Once the boxes were taped together and trimmed down to the correct size, I smoothed the surface out with some brown craft paper. I just glued the paper down with white glue and taped the edges down. I then glued the map down with rubber cement, which helps keep the paper from wrinkling while drying. After it is dry, I attached it to the frame with a few staples on the corners and edges.

IMG_0061I thought I would paint the frame but I couldn’t decide on a color so I left it natural for now, which actually matches the map and wall very well. To hang the map, I inserted two small screws onto the back of the frame and string a taut wire between the two.

IMG_0063Finally I can mark off some special places! The warm colors are places I want to go and the cool colors are places I have been. I’m very fortunate to have traveled as much as I have, but there are an awful lot of places I hope to go to soon!

–Heather

Mint Chocolate Body Butter

19 Dec

 

 

My DIY Christmas continues with some homemade body butter! I based the recipe off of the one I saw over at Wellness Mama, but I quadrupled the ingredients and made them holiday scented.

Ingredients:

16 oz. Shea Butter

16 oz. Cocoa Butter

16 oz. Almond Oil

16 oz. Coconut Oil

Approximately 30 drops of essential oils – I used Peppermint and Spearmint

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Here are all of the supplies, which actually doesn’t even look like much! I purchased an entire essential oils kit because I wasn’t sure what scent I wanted to go with at that point.

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The recipe says to heat everything except the essential oils in a double boiler so I just used a heat-safe glass bowl, but as you can see it was very very full.

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I switched over to this large sauce pot about halfway through to cut back on spillage possibilities.

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This is what it will look like completely melted. It took about 20 minutes to get to this point and as long as the heat is on about medium, there’s really no need to even watch it – so simple! This is where I added my essential oils because there was no direction in the recipe for when to add them.

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Once everything is melted, the recipe says to let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes before popping it in the refrigerator to cool longer – I just went straight to the fridge and had no problems. It will take longer than the estimated hour to set up though, so keep an eye on it. You want to take it back out of the fridge once it is almost hard, as you can see above I tested it with my finger and it should have a little give but still be a little soft.

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Once the mixture has reached that point, you can take out your beaters and start whipping the body butter to your desired consistency. The mixture will warm up and melt a bit the longer you whip it, so I actually did a double whip, cooling it in the fridge for about 5 minutes in between. IMG_0053

After you’ve whipped the mixture, back in the fridge it goes. You can let it sit there as long as you want, but I was anxious and gave it only about an hour before I portioned it out among my glass jars. I used 8 oz jars that I bought in bulk on Amazon. This recipe filled up 10 and a half of the jars.

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Onto the labels – I debated between hanging labels and glued labels, glued won this round so I used Adobe Illustrator to design them. The labels measure 2″x8″ and don’t wrap completely around the jars.

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I printed these on some thicker cardstock paper and just ran a small bead of super glue down the short ends of the label to secure them.


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Here they are, all finished! I love that the labels all look the same but are each a bit different. I am so excited to give these out to friends and family – they smell almost exactly like Thin Mints, the texture is wonderful and the ingredients are all natural. As usual, there are so many variations that can be done on this project and overall it only took one day to make and cost about $5 per container. Win. Win. Win. Ho. Ho. Ho.

–Heather

Champagne Bubble Wine Glasses

10 Dec

I saw a pattern awhile back that stuck with me and I decided to replicate it on some wine glasses over the weekend. So here’s how to do it:

Supplies:

Glassware
Acrylic Paint
A paint brush or pencil
An oven

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Dip the end of your paintbrush or pencil into acrylic paint.

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On the INSIDE of your glass make dots with your first color.

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I chose 3 colors for each wine glass and I like the way each turned out. So I guess I’d recommend 3 or more colors if you are going to replicate this pattern.

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Once you’ve finished your glasses, place them in a cold oven. Turn the oven t0 350 and let the glasses stay in there for a half hour. After the half hour is over, turn the oven off and let the glasses sit in there until the oven is cool.

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Now enjoy!
I washed the glasses to make sure the paint didn’t come off-and it didn’t! It’s definitely baked on there. With gentle washing, the glasses hold up just fine.

-Emily

DIY Snow Globe Soaps

26 Nov

This is perfect for the beginner soap makers out there who would like to make some personalized soaps in bulk for holiday gifts. I got this idea from the Alpha Mom blog. I stumbled on it when I was searching easy soap recipes and it was just too cute not to try. It cost me about $15 in supplies and took about an hour from start to finish. This makes homemade gifts for about 30 people, so in my book- this is an amazing project.

Supplies:

Glycerine
Soap Dye
Soap Scent
Soap Glitter
Mixing Bowl
1 White bar soap (I used Dove)
Ice Cube tray
Measuring cup
Cheese Grater
Holiday buttons, toys, figurines, ect…

Don’t be afraid by the word “Glycerine”. It was actually very easy to find at the store. I made one stop at my local A.C Moore and found all of the soap materials I needed including the glycerine.

Chop up your glycerine into ice cube-shaped blocks (which is pretty easy if you get the block of glycerine like I did). Then shave your white bar soap with your cheese grater into a pile.

Put about 6 of your glycerine chunks into a mixing bowl for 1 minute.

Gloppy goo. So add your soap dye, scent, and soap glitter to the bowl. I added 2 drops of blue and about 8 drops of lavender vanilla scent. I was iffy about the soap glitter- but I’m really glad I decided to use it. It makes the end product sparkle and seem more “winter-ish”, and it doesn’t come off at all on your hands when you use the soap. So I would definitely recommend picking up a little jar (I think it was about $3 and well worth it).

So here is where there is a little guess work involved. Stick your goop back into the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time. You want it to be as liquid as possible.

Pour your soap liquid into a measuring cup so it’s easy to pour into your ice cube trays. WORK QUICK! This is another one of those projects that I wasn’t able to take as many photos of the process as I would have wanted. If your ¬†mixture solidifies, just put it back in the microwave.

Fill your ice cube tray only about 3/4 of the way up. You want to leave a little room for your “snow”. Place your fun little figurines into each cube while it is solidifying. I found little gingerbread men, snowflakes, and other fun embellishments in the scrap-booking section.

Sprinkle the white bar soap shavings on top of the soaps (which should now be turning solid) and then add pour the last bit of your liquid glycerine on top of each cube to make sure the “snow” sticks.

Pop the tray in your freezer for about 20 minutes, pull out, and enjoy!

I packaged mine with clear sandwich bags and ribbon. I’m keeping them in my fridge until I’m ready to give them as little gifts this holiday.

These would be perfect for the child who frequently skips washing their hands. Once they use up the soap- they have a little toy!

Happy Holidays!

-Emily

Postcard Artwork

1 Oct

Brooke turned 25 this past weekend and she had requested that I make her a set of paintings that when placed together on the wall would create one large image. Well, paint and I have a love/hate relationship where I just can’t force myself if I’m not loving it, so I decided to think outside the box on this one. I had come across some history-themed postcards while wandering around Davis Square that sparked some ideas of an American Revolution style project that would be right up Brooke’s alley.

Supplies:

Postcards

Archival Ink Pens

Black paper

Picture frame

So these are the postcards I picked up; John Adams, Faneuil Hall and JFK.

I decided to draw the maps of the Midnight Ride routes of Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott onto the postcards so that map covers all three cards.

Using Adobe Illustrator, I was able to trace over the routes and delete the reference image. Initially I had planned to just print the map directly onto the cards but was afraid that they might mess up and I would need to buy more postcards.

So instead, I drew them on free-hand which I think actually ended up looking better and more personalized. At this point the project seemed too easy and a bit plain, so I wrote the preamble to the Constitution in the background of the John Adams postcard. Then I felt like all of the cards needed some writing. So Faneuil Hall has a quote from Abigail Adams written on the street and I wrote a quote from JFK onto the shore line of his postcard. Sorry, I don’t have detail images of these.

The postcards measure 4″x6″ but I didn’t want any of the card to be cut off so I picked up a basic three pane frame from Target that fits 5″x7″ photos. I used some black paper to act as a background to the postcards once inside the frame.

All wrapped up and ready for delivery! You can start to see some of the quotes in this image.

And it has already found the perfect spot on the wall in her bedroom! Happy birthday, Brooke!

–Heather

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