DIY Halloween Craft: Pumpkin Decor

DIY fall pumkin decor with scented pinecones

The Craft Challenge theme for September is Halloween so I decided to go with pinecones and pumpkins. You know those spiced scented pinecones you smell when you walk into Michael’s? I can’t stay away from the things! They smell amazing. I had to get them into my craft this week. And I haven’t decorated pumpkins yet this year, so it just seemed fitting.

This craft is really easy, smells wonderful and will give your table or windowsill a nice pop for fall. Keep reading if you’re interested in making your own!

 

autumn pumpkin decor materials

Materials needed for fall pumpkin decor

  • craft pumpkin
  • flameless candle
  • pumpkin carving kit
  • fall-scented pinecones

 

hollowed craft pumpkin

Step 1: cut a big hole in your craft pumpkin

You can buy pumpkins with the hole already cut. Get that one if you can. If not, use a pumpkin carving kit to cut your own.

 

 

flameless candle decor

Step 2: add decorative fall elements

Put your flameless candle in the middle and surround it with scented pinecones.

 

DIY fall pumkin decor with scented pinecones

You’re done! You can tie some ribbon or maybe some burlap around the stem at the top if you want to spice it up a little more. I wanted to keep this one a bit more simple.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave them in the comments.

The Craft Challenge

This craft is part of The Craft Challenge. Be sure to check out Emily’s Halloween Ghost Candy Boxes tutorial over at A Pop of Red!

DIY Upcycled Charger and Cord Organizer

DIY Upcycled cord and storage organizer

In the past few years, I’ve accumulated numerous cords and chargers, as I’m sure many of you have. I used to store them in a basket, but that got messy quickly. Every time I wanted one I’d have to untangle several. That’s obviously not an effective storage solution.

I decided to upcycle a cardboard box and some toilet paper rolls to design a better option. So far, it seems to be working pretty well. I haven’t had to untangle anything, which is just wonderful.

Want to try it? You only need a few supplies to get started. If you do any amount of crafting you probably have most of them already.

 

charger and cord organizer materials

Materials needed for your upcycled cord storage box

  • box
  • ruler
  • toilet paper rolls
  • scissors/exacto knife
  • Duct Tape or scrapbook paper

**Add glue to that list if you’ve chose to work with scrapbook paper instead of decorative tape.

upcycling a storage box with Duck Tape

Step 1: cover your box with Duct Tape

Cover your cardboard box in Duct Tape or scrapbook paper, whichever you prefer.

 

Duck Tape covered toilet paper rolls

Step 2: cover the toilet paper rolls with Duct Tape

Repeat the process with your TP rolls.

 

DIY Upcycled cord and storage organizer

Fill your rolls with chargers and cords, set the rolls upright in the box and you’re done! Storage made easy. Now you don’t have to untangle anything! Very exciting.

If you’re more interested in organizing the cords that are always plugged in, check out the tutorial for my Device Charging Station instead:

DIY device charging station

I’d love to hear what you think!

Happy crafting!

 

DIY Paper Bookmarks for Page Corners

DIY page corner bookmark

I read a lot. Most of the time, I’m reading 2-3 books at once because I like to soak up a lot of information. Topics change a lot too. Sometimes I want to educate myself but other times I’m in the mood for some mindless fiction. It depends on the day.

Regardless, books in-progress need bookmarks. I love the elaborate fun markers, but I can never justify paying for something like that. So, I make my own. And I can make them as exciting as I want them to be.

This week, I’m working on some bookmarks for the corners of the pages. It works really well. They just slide on one of the corners and it’s easy to find your place whenever you’re ready to start reading again.

If you’re interested in making your own, keep reading and I’ll show you how I made mine. Oh, I also have some bonus templates for you to download to make the process easier.

 

Materials needed for paper bookmark for page corners

Materials needed for paper bookmarks

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbook paper
  • My downloadable template (below)

 

paper bookmark templateStep 1: download the bookmark template

Right click the image above and click “Open image in new tab”.

Then, print the image. (file > Print.)

 

Step 2: cut out the template

Cut the template out. You can do this by printing the template I provided and then tracing it onto your scrapbook paper.

Or you can print it directly onto your scrapbook paper.

Your call.

 

bookmark paper folds

Step 3: fold the paper

Place the scrapbook paper face down so that the pattern you want displayed on your bookmark is against the surface you’re working on. I want the green flower design, so that is against the table.

Fold one of the legs inward so that it follows the contour of the diamond shape.

Repeat that on the other side. Glue the second leg on top of the other one.

You should have something that looks like this.

scrapbook paper origami bookmark

I used double-sided scrapbook paper, so I hope the image isn’t confusing. I apologize if it is. Please leave a comment if you need further instruction.

 

paper bookmarks for page corners

Repeat that as many times as your would like. I made an extra one, just in case I find another book I want to read in the next day or two.

 

DIY page corner bookmark

Now you can slide your new bookmark onto the page you want to come back to.  It’s so cute and minimal. I love it. It doesn’t stick out from the pages, so the book fits in my bag without any worry of bending or destroying my bookmark.

I have another goodie for you!

If you like to color, download my coloring-page bookmark templates below.

color your own bookmark templates

Follow the same steps I provided above and then color til your heart’s content.

For example, I used the pattern in the first template design in a drawing recently. It turned out like this:

abstract doodle art

I’d love to know what you think and I’d love to see what you make. Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

If you’re interested in some other DIY bookmarks, check these out:

DIY Doodle Bookmarks

These are made from paint samples and Sharpies. The project is super easy and you can turn them into anything you want. I especially enjoy the gradient created from the paint swatches.

diy doodle bookmarks

 

DIY Glass Orb Bookmarks

If these didn’t stick out from the edges of the pages, they would be my favorite bookmarks ever. I made these years ago and still use them for books that sit on my nightstand. Not so much for the ones I carry with me.

diy fancy glass orb bookmarks

 

DIY Autumn-Inspired Leaf Bookmark

I was a bit more in the Fall mood when I made these bookmarks. The leaves were beautiful… all different colors and not quite crispy yet. It was the perfect time to make them into bookmarks.

diy leaf bookmark

 

DIY Watercolor Bookmarks

These were very enjoyable to make. They’re similar to the doodle bookmarks above, except with these you would use thick paper and watercolor paints. Oh, and a marker. You can write or draw whatever you want on them.

watercolor bookmarks

Enjoy.

Happy crafting!

 

 

DIY Organge Gradiant Whiteboard Calendar

diy whiteboard calendar craft

I’m so late at posting my Make Something Mondays craft today! It’s been a very busy weekend; so busy that it reminds me how important organization is in my life. I thought the perfect craft to reflect that would be a whiteboard calendar.

I hate buying calendars, because I’m just going to throw them away at the end of the year. I haven’t found a great way to reuse them, so if I don’t have to buy them, I’m going to avoid it. This was a great alternative.

The supplies are easy and cheap. If the Dollar Store sold scrapbook paper, I’d call it a Dollar Store Craft because it’s very affordable. Way more affordable if you’re remembering that you can use this year around.

Want to make one? Follow the tutorial below.

 

whiteboard calendar suppies

Whiteboard Calendar Materials

  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Frame
  • Pencil
  • Color square scrapbook paper
  • Exacto knife & cutting board OR scissors

 

paint square scrapbook paper

This is the scrapbook paper pad I used for the color squares. I bought it at Michael’s for a few bucks.

 

paint squares for calendars

Step 1: cut up the color squares

The size of your squares will depend on the size of your frame. Remember that the frame is going to overlap the squares a bit, so leave extra space around the edges.

You can cut them all into little pieces if you want. I prefer to leave mine in a vertical slice so that I can better maintain the space between each section.

 

whiteboard calendar set up

Step 2: glue the colored pieces into place

I highly recommend lining up your sections on the paper before gluing anything so that you get an idea of what it will look like first. When you’re happy with the layout, glue the pieces into place.

 

12x12" framed calendar

Step 3: frame it

When the glue is dry, frame them.

 

diy whiteboard calendar craft

Write in your dates and you have your very own whiteboard calendar!

You can make your calendar bigger or smaller if the space within the squares doesn’t seem adequate with the 12×12″ frame.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments!

Happy crafting!

 

Autumn Craft: DIY Leaf Relief Painting

DIY leaf relief painting

This month’s Craft Challenge theme is autumn. My goal is always to create something different and exciting for each of these challenges and this month is no different. I struggled a bit with this one because I’m not quite in the mood for fall yet. It’s sunny and 90 degrees in my area and leaves are still green. I haven’t quite hit the sweaters, boots and pumpkin latte craze yet.

To get there, I did a brainstorming session with a friend (thank you, Aarika). We kept coming back to leaves. Do you remember doing leaf coloring in 2nd grade? You put a leaf under a piece of paper and color over it with a crayon to bring out the texture and outlines? We’re going to make the adult version of that today.

It’s a really fun project, and I really enjoyed making it. I’m going to paint several more this week and frame them for some festive decor. Follow the tutorial below to make some of your own!

 

leaf relief painting materials

Materials needed for leaf relief paintings

  • foil
  • leaves
  • sponge brush
  • acrylic paint
  • paper towns
  • thick paper
  • craft bond / adhesive
  • light grit sandpaper or steel wool

Supply notes:
Go outside and find some leaves, flowers or other plants.

Make sure the paper you choose is pretty thick. I used paper from a mixed media notebook. You can also use watercolor paper, bristol board or some other variation.

Choose steel wool over sandpaper if you can.

 

painting workspace

Step 1: set up your workspace

Usually, this isn’t part of my tutorial because your workspace is a given. However, this one can get a little sticky (pun intended).

Make sure you lay down newspaper or paper towels all over your work area if you’re working indoors. Craft bond is pretty sticky and it takes some time to get it out of clothes, off your skin and table.

Crafter’s tip: If you’re working over wood like I am, and happen to get the adhesive on your table, dab some vegetable oil on a towel and wipe it up. The oil releases the bond on the wood. Make sure you use cleaning products to wipe up the oil when you’re finished!

 

texture for painting

Step 2: adhere paper towels to the paper

Spray the adhesive on your thick paper and cover it will a paper towel.

I used paper towels with swirl designs because I wanted extra texture for the  background. You don’t have to use a bold texture if you don’t want to.

 

leaf base

Step 3: adhere the leaves

Spray the adhesive again and press the leaves into place.

 

foil cover nature art

Step 4: adhere the foil

Spray the adhesive again and press a sheet of foil overtop of the leaves.

 

leaf relief with foil

Step 5: bring out the natural texture

Ball up a paper towel and press lightly over the veins and outlines of the leaves and their stems to bring out the texture. Be careful not to rip the foil.

 

brush painting technique

Step 6: paint the foil

Using your sponge brush, dab the paint onto the foil like in the image above. You want to lift the brush and set it back down to ensure the paint gets into all of those little crevices.

Then, pull your brush from one end to the other in a typical painting motion. Get rid of the texture the sponge brush created by dabbing on the paint.

Let it dry.

I decided, half way through painting, that I wanted to go with the red paint, so I painted over it a second time with that color only.

I suggest painting on a second layer of paint either way.

Let it dry.

leaf veins through acrylic paint

Step 7: sand down the paint

Very lightly sand down the paint on and around the leaves so that the veins and foil shows through. Be careful not to rip the foil.

This is going to be a very slow process, but it is so worth it in the end.

 

DIY leaf relief painting

When you’re finished, you’ll have something that looks like the above. I love the way the foil makes all of the lines pop!

Next time I am going to try paper towels with less texture and black or dark blue paint. I really enjoy the red but a higher contrasting color will make the leaves stand out so much more.

The Craft Challenge

This project is part of the Craft Challenge.

Be sure to check out Emily’s craft over at A Pop of Red! She will have her tutorial posted later today.

 

DIY Leather Beaded Bracelets

diy leather beaded bracelet

I’m going to apologize for this, but I’ve been on a jewelry kick these past two weeks. Earrings last week and bracelets this week. I promise next week will bring new and exciting things. Let me get this out of my system first, though.

Okay, moving on. I love leather bracelets, but I never make them. I always feel like other people can make them better than I do, so I just buy them. That had to change, because you can’t get better at something if you don’t try, right?

I chose an easy design with a little bit of wire wrapping, which I’ve written a few tutorials for. It’s pretty straightforward so I’m confident that if I can make these, any of you can do the same. Want to try? Keep reading.

 

leather beaded bracelet materials

Materials needed for leather beaded bracelets

  • beads
  • metal wire
  • jump rings
  • leather cord
  • jewelry clasps

You can find all supplies needed to make these bracelets at any craft store.

 

Wire wrapping with beads

Step 1: thread the wire through the bead

Cut a piece of wire about half an inch longer than your bead on both sides.

Then, slide the bead into the center of the wire.

 

wire wrapping

Step 2: twist two loops into the wire

Using your round-nosed jewelry pliers, create a loop in the wire on either side of the bead. You should have something that looks like the image above.

Then, repeat on the opposite side.

 

Step 3: add the clasps

Cut the leather cord so that, when folded in half and threaded through the metal loop, it reaches around to the other side of your wrist, but not quite to the center. You want to leave some space for the clasps to come together.

Add the clasp to fasten the leather ends.

Repeat on the opposite side.

 

diy leather beaded bracelet

When you’re finished, you should have a bracelet that looks like this.

If you want to get a little more adventurous, try making another bracelet and styling it just a bit differently.

beaded bracelets with leather straps

I made the one on the left second. This one has 4 beads instead of 1 and the clasps are fastened to the side closest to the beads, rather than on the other side of the wrist.

Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your feedback.

Happy crafting!

DIY Bead String Earrings

DIY bead string earrings

I disappeared last week. Sorry about that. I needed a mini break from all organized activity. Surely you’ve been in the same boat. But I’m back to crafting this week and I have a fancy set of earrings for you to make that’s quick and easy.

These are the kind of homemade earrings that make great gifts.

  1. They look more expensive than they are (but aren’t cheaply made), so that’s a win for both the maker and the recipient.
  2. They’re super easy to assemble.
  3. They go well with all outfits.

Want to make some? Keep reading!

materials for DIY bead string earrings

Materials for Bead String Earrings

  • Bead caps
  • Fancy beads
  • Earring rods
  • Earring hooks
  • Jewelry pliers (not pictured)

Tips for choosing beads:

  1. Choose beads that aren’t exactly the same size. You can see that some of mine are oblong, others are round and some look squished. Some are even textured.
  2. Choose beads with some shine. Beads that shimmer a little bit look so much better in indoor lighting.

I purchased all of my supplies at Michael’s (of course), but you can pick yours up at any craft or hobby shop.

Bead caps at top and bottom

Step 1: Start with a bead cap

Slide one bead cap to the bottom of your earring rod.

Follow that with a string of beads misshapen beads.

Lastly, top with a bead cap.

It’s like a sandwich of beads!

Note: Leave some room at the top of your earring rod. We’re using that space in the next step.

earring loop for hook connection

Step 2: Make a wire loop

Using your round-nosed pliers, twist the excess wire at the top of the earring rod into a loop. Don’t close it completely.

 

beaded earring

Step 3: Add the earring hook

Slide on the earring hook and close your loop.

Repeat steps 1-3 for the second earring.

 

DIY bead string earrings

When you’re finished, you’ll have this fancy pair of earrings! Keep them for yourself or give them to someone you know will love them.

You could always hang on to them and give them as a Christmas gift. I know, I know, it’s August. But Christmas sneaks up on you. You could be prepared for that.

Let me know what you think!

Happy crafting!