January 25, 2015

Hanging Hearts – Valentines door decor

With Valentines Day just around the corner, I decided to make some hanging hearts for my front door. I’m not a huge fan of wreaths, and only can stand to use them once in a while, so I try to come up with something different for my front door instead.


I started with 4 different sizes of hearts – I printed the outline of them from my computer, random sizes, and cut them out by hand. Then I traced them onto some lumber. All of our lumber is hand milled (by my husband Grant), but of course you can just go to the lumber or hardware store and pick up a piece. You don’t need very much for these hearts (depending on their size). I used about 1.5-2’ of lumber.


After tracing them, CUT. I love, love, love my scroll saw!


The cut hearts


And just a picture to show the rough, home milled wood I like to use. Most of the time I’ll plane it before I use it, but I purposefully left it pretty rough, so that when I sanded, after I painted, it would have a worn, rustic look.


On to painting. Since I cut 4 hearts, I went with 4 different colors. I’m a huge fan of Rustoleum 2x coverage spray paint. The colors I used = Berry pink, Apple red, White, & Grape.


Sanding comes next. Like I said before, I left my hearts rough so that when I finally sanded them smooth they had a worn, rustic finished look. And I purposefully sanded the edges more than the rest. Next I applied a final coat of clear coat (matte or gloss, it’s up to you. I used matte because I have a bunch of it around).


You can either stop there & tie a rope/cord around the hearts for a table/shelf display (see picture below), or you can keep going (like I did with my hanging hearts).


The rest of this project is determined by how & where you want them to hang. I drilled a hole in the hearts (either the top center or off to the top side), a little bigger than the rope I found. I like to keep things sporadic & random, so I couldn’t tell you exactly where I drilled on each heart.

The rope I used was found at a local hardware/ranch store, and it’s almost more of a twine than a rope. It’s about 1/4” thick. I cut two 5’ sections of the twine (from a 40’ roll) and tied them in a “bow” in the middle. I’m not an expert “bow-tier” but I did my best ;)


Each heart was then tied to one of the dangling pieces of rope/twine, at different heights. I didn’t use any specific knots, just tied it on and made sure it stayed. Actually, I made sure it REALLY stayed by dabbing some E6000 around all the knots, including the big bow (in the back).


And there you have it. A fun, cute & non-wreath Valentine’s door hanger!



January 12, 2015

Minion Birthday Party!

My now 3 year old is OBSESSED with Minions. Whenever we asked him what he wanted for Christmas, his answer was always “MINIONS!!”. So, of course he had to have a Minion birthday party!




I made these invitations (using Microsoft Publisher…nothing fancy here!), one clipart from a Google “minion clipart” search, and this font (LasVegas-Jackpot) . I set up the invitation as a 4” x 6” because I like to print them at Wal-Mart & have them in hand within the hour. The boarder of the invitation was a bunch of repeated blue & yellow stripes laid behind everything and later cropped to the 4” x 6” size. Obviously I put in the birthday boy’s actual name & our actual address & phone number, but you get the idea.


**I’ve been trying to make their birthday parties more about the fun rather than the presents. We do a little family birthday party where we give them presents, but when it comes to their friends…all they really want is to play & have cake! That’s why I put *no presents necessary*. Hopefully makes it less stressful for the parents too!

I did a lot of Pinterest & Google searching for ideas for kids 3 and younger to do. I love teaching my boys preschool, so I wanted to do some activities like that. So here we go…


First, color. It was a great “gathering” activity. While we waited for everyone to show up, they colored as many Minions as they could (and played after they were done).


The next project was painting a puzzle. My little man LOVES puzzles almost as much as he loves minions. I was going to have the kids make something similar to this Minion footprint on their puzzles, but that was a little too much work (we did a practice run the night before).


So instead I just gave them some paint & let them do whatever they wanted on it.  They had fun with that!


Lunch came next. I made some pizza & while it finished cooking, I gave the kids some bananas & some stickers I made with my Silhouette.  They dressed the bananas up to look like little Minions & then they got to eat them and/or take them home with them.


This is the clipart I used & imported in my Silhouette program (couldn’t find the actual link anymore, SORRY!!):



Inspired by Betty Crocker, I made these Minion Cupcakes. Not much needed aside from the cake; blue cupcake liners, yellow frosting, big marshmallows, & black gel (or frosting). I was also planning on making a cake for our family part (again, Betty Crocker inspired), but it stuck to the pan. So I opted for Minion cake balls!



I have a ton of these brown gift bags, and since I couldn’t find yellow bags ANYWHERE in my town, I went with these. I again made some stickers to go on the outside & put some fun Minion stuff inside.


  1. Minion stickers (I made, using my Silhouette & clipart like THIS)
  2. Minion tattoos
  3. Minion Fruit Snacks (any grocery store)
  4. BANANAS!!(candy, of course, with stickers to go on another banana at home)
  5. Their painted puzzles



Lots of blue & yellow – streamers, balloons, flag banners, etc! The streamers, we put up. Nothing else to it. The blue balloons stayed blue balloons, and the yellow balloons were dressed up to be minion heads! I used goggle & mouth clipart & taped them on. The flag banner was a matter of yellow, white & blue cardstock paper, but into triangles & flags, with Minion stickers on top (taped to some yarn). Pretty easy to make.


Overall, super fun birthday! This kiddo is now 3 & still as crazy as a Minion!!



January 9, 2015

Magnetic Family Home Evening {FHE} chart

I have been wanting a Family Home Evening (FHE) chart for a long time now, but nothing I’ve seen had really hit my fancy. I’m a fan of ORIGINAL & DIFFERENT, which I wasn’t finding on Pinterest and Etsy.  So of course, I decided to use my imagination and completely DIY it! My finished product ---> 


I started out with the idea of making each person pose for the magnets and taking new pictures. But rather than going through that hassle I decided to go through our pictures from the past year and found some candid ones that I could use instead. We are always crazy, so it wasn’t very hard to find them :P


I printed them on sticker paper (half sheet sticker labels to be exact, because I had them), and then sprayed them with a clear coat to seal them. I used matte clear coat, but next time I think I’ll use gloss. Once it was dry, I roughly cut them out, stuck them on a magnet sheet & then did a closer cut for the actual/finished magnets.


I designed my whole FHE board in my Silhouette program, so I could lay everything out how I wanted & figure the sizes needed before I cut them all. The only thing I used my Sihouette machine for was to cut the vinyl for the “job” labels and for the “Family Home Evening” at the top.


Once cut, the vinyl job labels were weeded, then transferred to the sheet magnet & I cut them out by hand after that. The ‘Family Home Evening’ vinyl was applied directly to the metal.


The main part of this project was the sheet metal background. My boys love magnets, so they definitely helped with the inspiration for this project. Grant always has random things laying around, and somehow I always need them! Luckily he had some left over AIR DUCT which was perfect for this FHE chart. He cut it out to the dimensions I wanted, I sanded it down to make it shiny and clean (air ducts are not that clean!!) & then drilled the holes for the screws. Then I put the ‘Family Home Evening’ vinyl on & hung up the metal. The boys helped with assigning our next FHE jobs!


Since I had EVERYTHING I needed for this project & didn’t make one trip to the store for anything, I spent $0 for this project!!! Gotta love those kind of projects :D This FHE chart should last for a while, considering how easy it is to add more people to this chart or update the pictures, I’ll just need sticker paper & sheet magnets!


Now…on to my next project!!


December 18, 2014

DIY Leather bracelets {2 styles}

I have had a few leather bracelets pinned on Pinterest for a while now. I don’t like to just be a ‘pinner’ & let them sit on my boards forever, but instead I actually try to check things off my pinned list! Now I can finally check off a couple of my pinned jewelry ideas! In particular, these two pins – bracelet with sterling silver accents & quotable leather bracelet (on etsy for a hefty price!). Here are my versions of the two styles:


I started out with some really great quality flat leather lace, in two different colors (for my two different bracelets), both 5mm wide – Blackberry & Cognac (I love the black edges on both).


So first I’ll start with a {HOW TO} on my “DIY quotable leather bracelet” --->

As I already mentioned, I started with the Cognac flat leather lace (5mm), and I also had some E-600, and sterling silver findings (the metal quote part comes later).


I measured my wrist (how big I wanted the bracelet, also accounting for the findings) & measured the leather accordingly, then cut two pieces at that length.


These end caps are 10mm wide, so the two pieces of 5mm wide leather fit perfectly inside.


I put some E-6000 inside, then squeezed the leather in & let it sit until dry.


**be sure when you put the leather in the end caps that you twist the leather, at least once (or as many times as you want). Then you can wear this bracelet with or without the metal quote, and it still looks awesome.


You could stop there with the bracelet, or you can keep going & add the twisted metal quote! The bracelet I was inspired by used a piece of pure aluminum, which I didn’t have access to. So instead I used what I had available – recycled car metal! Maybe not as shiny & “pure” as the aluminum, but I get points for recycling, right ;) plus, it’s free! I also used a sledge hammer & some metal stamps.

Can I just say that this is a lot harder than it looks to make the twisted quote part of this bracelet. Mine did not turn out nearly as beautiful as the pinned etsy shop listing, and I need A LOT more practice with my letter stamping! Props to whoever it is that makes the original bracelet!!

I cut out a 3/8” wide by about 4” piece (I didn’t know how long I needed it!) of car metal & grinded then sanded down the edges until it was smooth. Then I stamped the lettering. Again, I need A LOT more practice! Oh well!!


I went the easy route to make my lettering stand out – a sharpie and an alcohol wipe. (scribble over the lettering to make it all black inside, then wipe away the excess with an alcohol wipe).


Then I started twisting it. Harder than it looks! Or maybe this car metal just isn’t easy to work with. I don’t know.


I slid it over the end of the bracelet (by the way, you might want to make the twisted metal before you make the bracelet, then you can just slide it over the leather, not the findings!). Once it was on the bracelet, I kept squeezing it with my jewelry pliers until it fit a little more snug. It isn’t nearly as pretty and smooth as my inspiration, but it will do [for me].


And the finish product (see the uneven twisting?! UGH)


Now on to my  {HOW TO} for bracelet #2, “DIY leather wrapped bracelet with sterling silver accents” --->

For this bracelet, I used the Blackberry flat leather lace (about 3 meters x 5mm), sterling silver beads (they looked the “silver” part!), bead thread, needle, and findings. Aside from the leather, I got all of these items at Joanns, but I will say that I much prefer the findings that I used on the bracelet above. 


This bracelet was time consuming and, to be honest, the beading was a pain! Each section of 10 beads needed a new piece of bead thread, so there was a lot of tying knots & threading needles. Maybe there is an easier way to do this part, but that is what I did.  

IMG_2846 IMG_2847 

There were a lot of sections of the beading, because I used the whole 3 ft (about) length for this bracelet. In the end it was worth it! I didn’t measure in between the sections of beading because I wanted it to look more sporadic and random, but they were spaced at about 1.5 – 2.25” apart.


[I used the best findings I could find for this project, but again I’m not super excited about them. I’d definitely recommend square end caps that fit exactly. These do work, just not as awesome as the ones I used above.]


The finished product, [and I’m totally in love with it!]


If you have any comments, tips, or questions, please share. I’m not an expert, but personally I think these turned out pretty awesome (and I didn’t have to spend $45+ for them, like on etsy). I love DIY!!



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