Monday, December 16

Felted Gift Tags

I freaking love Christmas. Probably because I freaking love giving people presents. I love giving people presents for no reason, so to have a holiday on which I can give out all kinds of gifts to the people I care about? Freaking love it, y'all! 

In the last couple years, I have been getting more and more into making my presents look extra pretty. It's harder than I expected though, I can't lie. But when Create for Less sent me some wool roving and a needle felting kit, I knew it'd be fun to whip up some felted gift tags for the Think Crafts blog. What do you think?

Check out the full tutorial and more pictures here, and leave some love from Mon Makes Things! 

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Monday, December 9

Holiday DIYs

Last year, I was pretty new to this blogging game (and really, I still consider myself a novice). I ambitiously dreamed up 25 relatively quick holiday projects that I hoped to finish, but between finals and everything else, I only ended up posting a few. Here are four projects I posted last year, if you're looking to do some of your own holiday crafting this week! Can you tell I was on a felt kick? ;) 

My family has never been the timley-est when it comes to decorating for Christmas, so I am really just getting started on my little apartment. My mom, my brother and I always hunt down a real tree at a tree farm, and over the years it has become tradition to go right before Christmas... I think the latest we ever got a tree was December 23rd... This year we have the 22nd set as our tree hunting date, ha! BUT, then my mom leaves her tree up for weeks after Christmas. We have watched the Superbowl with the Christmas tree up. It's like the opposite of all you who decorate on (or before!) Thanksgiving. 

All that said, my later-than-usual habits of decorating and DIYing for Christmas makes blogging about it pretty tough, especially with these super short winter days! By the time I get home from work, it's way to dark to take photos! I tell ya, more goes into blogging than you'd think. 

Have you been crafting for the holidays? What have you been making? 

Also, do you have any tips on how to make your holiday decor cohesive? I struggle with decor... Choosing color palettes and all of that... Making everything go together is stressful! 

Happy crafting, friends! :)
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Wednesday, November 27

Crochet Baby Booties

When I made this fab photo display board for the friend of a friend's baby shower, I wound up invited to said shower. I couldn't attend without a gift, right? So I whipped up these baby booties real quick the night before. I found the pattern on Ravelry and altered it slightly... Side note: If you crochet/knit and aren't on Ravelry, you are missing out. If you are on Ravelry, let's be friends! (My username is monmakesthings.)

Check out more how I made these and more photos over here on ThinkCrafts, and leave a comment from Mon Makes Things!

Anybody else panicking about Thanksgiving? Because it's jussssstttt hitting me that I have to cook a big ol' holiday meal for tomorrow. Oops. ;) 

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Friday, November 15

Gilded Mason Vases

Are mason jars still trendy? I hope so, because I am still a fan. I've seen so many mason jar vases on Pinterest these last few years... Something about their rustic elegance, I guess. So when CreateForLess asked me to try out some glass paints and the new Ball Transform Mason line, I knew I wanted to make some pretty vases of my own. 

I have never arranged flowers before. Like, ever. But since I have been having repeated emotional breakdowns in my last semester of school, boyfriend unexpectedly bought me a pretty bouquet of pink roses one day, and I quickly took it apart for these gilded jars. I have never considered myself a "girly-girl," but man-oh-man do I squeal over flowers from a boy. Who's with me? ;) 

Check out my full tutorial over on ThinkCrafts and leave some love. They're SUPER easy, I promise... And who doesn't love an easy DIY? No seriously, who doesn't?!

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Wednesday, November 6

Holiday Crafting // Crochet Ornaments

It is officially November, which means Christmas will be here before we know it. Any fellow holiday crafters out there know that means it's time to start making holiday gifts. Or maybe you started months ago, over achievers... I wanted to share some handmade holiday ornaments in my Etsy shop right now! Along with these original ornaments, there are two original patterns available for purchase as well! 

We (my mom and I) started offering custom cat ornaments last year, made to look like your kitties (or however you want)! They are sooo cute; my mom is a crochet genius. I learned everything I know from her. She has been selling these teddy bear ornaments since long before I was born! 

We also love custom order requests, so if you've got an idea, shoot it our way! We've done a custom mouse, a rocking horse, custom colors, team bears, and more. I'm pretty sure my mom likes making new things more than making more of the old.

These two ornament patterns, Santa and the penguin, are available in our shop, so you can make your own! They are admittedly pretty involved patterns, and if you're not used to working with thread it will take some getting used to. But I am confident that you can do it, friends! There are step-by-step photos and we encourage you to email with any questions.

Check out the shop, and share with friends! These ornaments make great gifts, and there's just something about handmade products, am I right? Of course, maybe I'm biased. ;) 

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Thursday, October 31

Dia de los Muertos // Halloween Makeup

I know I just posted about how I don't dig super creepy Halloween decor, but truth be told, I have always liked dressing up as something on the scary side when it comes to my costume. When I was 6 or 7, I was the coolest vampire you've ever seen. My mom hunted down this slinky blue sequin evening gown at a thrift store for me, teased my hair all big and crazy, and painted my face sooo intensely. I still think that was my coolest costume to date. 

Now that I'm basically an adult (though I'm obviously still in denial), I have a new theory about Halloween. I figure, if I'm going to spend a bunch of money on a costume of some kind, I'm going to want to wear it again. So now I just try to come up with a costume that gives me an excuse to buy a pretty dress! I have also been smitten with the dia de los muertos (day of the dead) skeleton costumes since last Halloween, so my getup was a pretty easy choice this year.

Boyfriend was scary zipper face (ahh!), and the photos of him were taken after the bar party we went to, so his "blood" is a little smeared. Maybe I'm silly, but I like that mirror pic with the giant flash, haha. Sometimes I like a good lens flare. 

I found this tutorial on CraftGawker, and read through it a few days before attempting my makeup. Day of, I just sort of winged it, and had limited time to get ready. 

I used white grease makeup as the base, and just some advice, using a sponge took forever and looked crappy. Once I started using my fingers for the white, my life got a whole lot easier. I used two shades of purple eye shadow for the eyes and to fill in the little flower on my chin. I did my nose with black eye shadow, and used black liner to draw the designs. I was disappointed that the liner didn't turn out that black, but it didn't really matter in the end. I used a crappy old shadow brush for the eye shadow, and it worked a lot better than a shadow sponge applicator.

I snagged the gems and the black pearls from the scrapbook section at Michaels, and stuck them on with eyelash glue. I also added some intense false lashes, if you couldn't tell. ;) 

For my floral headress is a DIY I whipped up real quick. I bought some faux flowers from Michael's, cut the stems off, and hot glued them to an old plastic headband. I teased my hair and pinned it up in two messy buns before adding the headband, not that you can tell. I got my dress from JC Penney, and I loooove it! My first peplum... I'm a fan. :) 

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? What do you think about my makeup? I think it was a bit too scary for my grandma... Her response was: "Oh! But Monica... You're such a pretty girl..." Ha! 
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Wednesday, October 30

Lacy Ghost Mobile

I may have mentioned boyfriend's love of Halloween before, but if I haven't, boyfriend loves Halloween. It's his favorite holiday, in his favorite month, filled with his favorite weird gory, skeleton-y decorations. So I tried to make some DIY decor this year, that was still in keeping with the holiday, while not being overly creepy and scary. Cause ya know, I still wanted to walk through my living room at night without being FILLED WITH TERROR. I realize this is a little late in the game, but if you're like me, you may not start holiday crafting until the day before the holiday, mmkay? ;) 

This was a pretty quick project that I made up on a whim. I love project ideas that hit you like a bolt of lightning, especially when you have pieces you can use immediately to make it happen. Of course I've seen similar ghosties over the years with styrofoam balls and what have you, so this is not like some new innovative thing. Credit where credit is due, ya know. 

Stuff You'll Need: plastic Christmas bulbs (I used two different sizes), lacy fabric (got mine at the thrift store), black felt, white thread, fishing line, 12" embroidery hoop, black yarn, scissors, tacky glue
  1. Remove the metal hanger from your Christmas bulbs. 
  2. Holding your bulbs upside down, drape your fabric over each bulb and cut it to size. You can make your fabric as drapey as you like, and don't worry too much about cutting a straight line or anything. 
  3. Cut a length of thread and tie it around the base of your bulb (the plastic stem), securing the fabric. 
  4. Cut two small ovals from your felt and glue them on using tacky glue. You could also add a third oval for a mouth if you'd like. 
  5. While the glue dries, wrap your embroidery hoop with black yarn. 
  6. Cut two pieces from your black yarn, about 3 feet each. Center one piece under your hoop and loop each end of the yarn outside the circle, inside, then back out. Pull the ends until they are relatively even. Repeat with your second piece perpendicular to the first. 
  7. Tie the four ends of yarn together in a knot at the top (you can shorten them at this point if you'd like). 
  8. Thread a length of fishing line through the fabric at the top of each ghost, matching up the ends of the fishing line so that the ghost is centered. Tie a knot just above the ghost's head to secure the line. Then tie your ghosts onto your hoop, hanging them at various heights.
  9. Hang your ghost mobile from the ceiling and enjoy for Halloween! I stuck a 3M cord clip to my ceiling so I could remove it when I move out, and it's working great! 
What do you think of my ghosties? I love them, myself. So easy, too. Except they creepily keep all staring into that mirror they're next to... They never move, haha, they just stare at their reflections (weird). 

Only one more day to stock up on mini candy bars before all the stores sell out, friends! I live in an apartment, so I don't get to hand any out... But lord knows I love an excuse to buy sweets... Who's with me?! 

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Monday, October 28

Jack-O-Lantern Jars

Hello readers! :) I just want to thank those of you who checked out my "Take This, Make That" feature over at All You magazine, and those of you who entered my Halloween Handbook giveaway! I am feeling the love -- y'all are awesome! 

This is a quickie DIY I made for Think Crafts this month. Just a fun little twist on jack-o-lanterns, minus the pumpkin guts. ;) Check it out and look around the site for a few more Halloween jar DIYs, ha! I had no idea other contributors were doing similar crafts. Great minds, you know... 

What have you been crafting up for Halloween, friends? 

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Monday, October 21

All You Magazine Feature: Yogurt Cup Lighted Garland

BIG NEWS, FRIENDS. Alright, I kind of already blew my big news in my last post, and on my Instagram account, because I COULD NOT CONTAIN MYSELF.  BUT, here goes: I am in a magazine this month! Months and months ago, before I moved and before I even started apartment hunting, an editor at All You Magazine contacted me about participating in a new monthly craft blogger challenge for the magazine. The challenge involves taking an everyday object and up-cycling it into something fabulous for $5 or less, in about 3 steps. Each month, two craft bloggers are assigned a new object and then "face-off" on the All You Facebook page! There isn't a prize, other than bragging rights, and you know... glory. ;)

Obviously, my "everyday object" was yogurt cups, and I was admittedly intimidated by the seemingly intense limitations, but I then found that the limitations could be inspiring! Since the project needed to cost no more than $5 (not including the cost of the yogurt, of course), I started brainstorming ways to up-cycle other things that everyone has. Enter: Christmas lights! I repurposed a string of mini Christmas lights that I had lying around, and since they are something seemingly everyone owns, they weren't factored into the cost! For the rest of my supplies, I dug through my craft supply boxes and raided the dollar store. I can't believe how nice it turned out for so little money!

Stuff You'll Need: 10 yogurt cups (I used Chobani), gold metallic acrylic paint, paint brush, ribbon, tulle, scissors, Christmas lights, exacto knife, optional: lighter, triple thick glaze

Start by removing any labels from your yogurt cups, then wash and dry them. Paint the bottom half of your yogurt cups gold (I didn't tape off, because I'm daring and have a vendetta against painter's tape, hah). I did two coats; I have them numbered 01 & 02 in the photos above. I added a coat of triple thick glaze to my painted cups for durability, but if you don't have any, don't worry about it. When the cups are dry, cup an X in the bottom of the cup with your exacto knife (refer to photo 03). 

Cut a whole bunch of ribbon pieces to about 6" long, and cut your tulle into 3" wide strips. Again, for durability, carefully melt the ends of your ribbon with a lighter. I snagged all my ribbon and tulle from the dollar store, and had a ton left over. Knot your ribbon and tulle pieces along your light strand. Count your lights and distribute your yogurt cups evenly along the strand. Push a light bulb through the X cut into the back of each of your yogurt cups until they are all on your strand. Hang it up and enjoy! 

What do you think of my upcycled yogurt cups?! I would be lying if I didn't tell you that during the production of this project, I had a mini-breakdown that included me face-down on the floor on the verge of tears. I don't like pressure!! Haha, I should add that between school and a speedy deadline for this project, I only had one day to work on this... And I may have done a lot of trial-and-error crafting in that one day... It was exciting. But being in a magazine?! MORE EXCITING. 

I bought 10 copies... And the cashier didn't even ask me why! Moment ruined, cashier. I was all ready to be like, "Wellll, if you turn to the last page, you can see that this is me. FAMOUS!" Hahaha, oh well.

Grab a copy of the magazine in stores now, and go to the All You Facebook page to vote here! Voting closes November 8th. If you vote for me, I thank you in advance, and if you leave a comment, you will probably make me blush. ♥

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win a Halloween Handbook from All You in this post! The book is filled with super fun, super easy craft ideas and recipes, and there are a TON of easy ways for you to enter! 

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Thursday, October 17

Spider Pumpkins & a Giveaway!

So if you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I am featured in All You magazine this month! But I have a whole post planned about that, so more on that later. ;) Just over a week ago, I was contacted by All You about their Halloween Handbook, and was sent a copy to review. I'm sure you can guess how much I love craft books... They're like, pre-Pinterest inspiration, people. This is how my mom got all her great ideas back in the day. And who doesn't love the glossy pages of a new book, hmm? 

I flipped through the book plenty of times, dreaming of all the projects I wanted to make, before settling on the adorable spider pumpkins (at least partly because I had all the supplies on hand, am I right?). You can see the original project in the photo above. 

The book is filled with clever ideas for Halloween, and not just crafts! There were home decor projects, party planning projects, outdoor decor projects, adorable DIY costume ideas that I'm mentally storing for my motherhood-days, and recipes for both party foods and devilish desserts -- yum! Some stand outs for me include a googly-eye wreath I wanted to tackle, many more pumpkin projects I may get to, and a ton of super delicious looking cake & drink recipes that boyfriend is begging me to make. 

The beauty of this too, is that All You is a women's magazine focused on saving money, a.k.a. affordable projects! So none of these ideas will break the bank. Instead, they're all clever and creative ways to deck out for the holidays without spending a fortune in the seasonal aisle of Target (guilty). ;) 

I tweaked the spider pumpkin project a bit because, you know, gotta work with what you've got. So instead of the reccomended twigs, I used pipe cleaners, and instead of push pins & paper fangs, I used giant yellow felt circles. 

Stuff You'll Need: (mini) pumpkins, black paint, foam brush, black pipe cleaners, yellow felt, scissors, tacky glue

To make these, simply paint your pumpkins black and let them dry. I used tiny mini pumpkins, so I cut my pipe cleaners in half (4 pipe cleaners per pumpkin), and pushed them into the sides of my pumpkins, 4 legs per side of course. I then bent the pipe cleaners to look like spidey legs, cut out some big circles from my yellow felt, and glued them on for eyes! Ta-da! How simple is that? And such a cute take on pumpkin decor, right?

And lucky for you, All You wants to send two of you readers a copy of the Halloween Handbook, too! This is my first self-hosted giveaway, so pardon the shameless self-promotion. ;) I wanted there to be LOTS of ways you can earn entries! You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, and be sure to share with your friends who may like a copy as well! The giveaway ends Monday, October 21st at midnight, and you can earn extra entries for tweeting each day! Good luck, beautiful readers! 

P.S. If/when you "like" All You on Facebook, check out their Take This, Make That  feature, and vote for your fav! Yours truly is one of the competitors, but you know, no pressure. ;) 

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Saturday, October 12

Baby Shower Photo Board

HO-LEE COW, internet friends. It is almost half-way through October and I swear that time is flying by faster than ever. I'm in my last semester of undergrad and I am in this weird state of denial/disbelief/panic that I'm graduating in a matter of months. The workload is insane, the impending job search is daunting, and the emotional weight of it all is surprising! After posting a bouquet of flowers mentioning a recent "emotional breakdown," I talked with my best friend who said, "This always happens senior year! I cried all the time!" So if you've been there, or you're there now, I empathize! ♥♥

A couple of weeks ago, another friend recruited me to help with one of her best friend's upcoming baby shower. She wanted to put together a photo display of the baby girl's parents, and had bought a cheapy trifold from the drug store. We tried decorating it, but the longer it sat in my apartment, the more I hated it, so I started over. 

Stuff You'll Need: Bulletin Board, Push Pins & Thumbtacks, Yarn, Mini Clothespins, Washi Tape, White & Patterned Cardstock, Double-sided Tape/Tape Runner, Paper Trimmer, Wooden Hearts, White Paint, Foam Brush, Sequins, Glue

I snagged the bulletin board on sale at Hobby Lobby for $10 -- score! I had everything else on hand, which made this fun, cheap, and pretty easy! Most of the photos were old school 4x6 prints from film; remember those days? ;) I left a few as originals, but scanned most into my computer to crop and resize them (often old film photos mean a lot of poor composition). I printed them as 2 photos per piece of 4x6 photo paper, with a small white border.  I double matted the 4x6 photos on white cardstock, then patterned cardstock. I pulled all the patterned paper from my scrap pile. Since the 2x3 photos had the white border, I only needed to mat them on the patterned paper. 

Decorate the tops of your mini clothespins with 2 little strips of patterned washi tape. For decorative touches, glue some wooden hearts onto flat, metal thumbtacks with E6000 glue and let them dry. Once they're dry, use your foam brush to paint the hearts white. I also glued sequins to push pins (groups of three worked best) and let them dry. 

Dry-fit the photos on the board, then stick a plastic push pin at the end of each photo grouping. String yarn from thumbtack to thumbtack (more taut than loose), and start adding your photos with the clothespins. You will probably need to adjust the yarn once your photos are added. You will want the board vertical at this point, so the photos can hang. Adjust your yarn and knot it onto the thumbtacks. Wrap the excess yarn around the thumbtacks, and either glue the end in place, or tuck it under the thumbtack. 

Once you have all your photos on the board, start filling the empty spaces with hearts, sequins, and details! I printed out "Welcome Baby" and the baby's parents' names on white cardstock (the font is "Happy Phantom"). "Welcome" and "Baby" are double-matted on solid and patterned cardstock, and the names are matted on just patterned cardstock, with the "&" stuck onto a pink washi tape covered wooden heart. The "Welcome Baby" pieces are stuck to the top of the frame with glue dots, and the names are pinned on using push pins. 

The bottom corner has photos of the sonogram and an adorable pregnancy photo, with the baby's name printed, matted, and pinned to the board! I love how it turned out, and more importantly, the board was a hit at the shower! The baby's parents are planning to put the board in the baby's room, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think that was pretty bossy. ;) 

What do you think? Have you made photo display boards for a party before? I may or may not have had four giant trifold boards at my grad party... 

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