Tag Archives: DIY

Winter Gifts: Lavender Scented Heatables

Winter Gifts: Lavender Scented Heatables

Winter weather often inspires me to get crafty, because I spend more time indoors and holidays are my favorite part of the season. I love giving homemade gifts!

This year I was inspired by our chilly-ass office and one of our team members who wears a coat 24/7 indoors, to make these heatable packs as gifts. All you gotta do is pop it in the microwave and you have a nice little personal heater to warm you up. They are super easy to make, last a long time, and you can customize their size as much as you want. I have one that I made back in 2010 and it still works like a champ.

Things you will need:

  • Sewing machine
  • Uncooked rice
  • Dried lavender or lavender oil (or other scent you like – I mixed rosemary in with a few, you can get creative)

Note, these should not get wet! Wet rice turns into cooked rice…which is not what you want in your heatable.

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DIY Photo Coasters


Another year, another new apartment. On the bright side, whenever we move I get inspired to decorate and make stuff. I finally have a quasi-office again, which means space for crafting!

I made these coasters to go in a birthday/post-vacation blues care package for my BFF. We went on an awesome cruise at the beginning of March and I thought this would be a fun way to have some of the cool stuff we saw on display.

Things you will need:

  • tile from the hardware store
  • mod podge
  • scissors
  • foam or soft bristle paint brush
  • rubber or cork “bumpers” (tiny discs with adhesive backing) for your coaster feet
  • prints of the photos you want to use (or cut outs, favorite quotes, etc)

IMG_5892Make sure your tile is clean. Paint a thin layer of mod podge onto your tile, then lay your photo on top of it. Next, paint a thin layer of mod podge on top of the photo.


Let dry, then do a second (and third) coat. The key is to keep your layers thin and let them dry completely before doing the next coat. I tried to give two of them a kind of antique/rough look by hand scraping the photo while it was still damp.

Last, affix the feet to your coaster.



This was a surprisingly easy craft project. Of course, after I finally got started I thought of some other things I could have added to make them a little fancier – but maybe I’ll do the project again sometime soon.

Ombre Dresser DIY


Months ago I joined a group on Facebook called Buy Nothing after circuitously reading an article about the project. So far I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see this great community of giving in my own little neighborhood: “Give where you live” is the motto. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out! Giving through the group generally feels better than receiving, but I was pretty excited when someone posted a dresser they wanted to part ways with, which had seen better days. I had ideas for that thing! (Plus dreams about not sharing one lone dresser with my husband anymore)

The dresser as it was kindly dropped off by a neighbor I didn't realize lived on my block.

The dresser as it was kindly dropped off by a Buy Nothing member I didn’t realize lived on my block. Her partner even brought it to my door, it was so nice and neighborly 🙂

At first I had a few different concepts in mind, but I was quickly waylaid by the fact that it had already been painted many times in its previous life and needed to be sanded down. Living in a condo with no immediate outdoor access, I was worried about how I would accomplish that. Luckily, a lovely friend of mine loaned me his sander which even has a little catch bag attached to it, so the sawdust wasn’t flying all over the place. I’m sure my neighbors appreciated sawdust not getting all over their balconies as well. (Thanks to my husband for doing about 75% of the sanding, too. My shoulder injury made it difficult to do it all myself.) Note: I did attempt to use some liquid paint stripper first, but I found that as it ate through the many layers, to get the last bit off was really tough and ended up with me gouging the wood with my scraper. I switched over to sanding after that, and it was labor intensive. Read the rest of this entry

Duct Tape Dress Form – the DIY Mannequin


I’ve been wanting a dress form for some time now, so I can make clothes sans-pattern or refashion things I already have, but they’re so damn pricey! I’ve also lost a good bit of weight in the last year, and I’m still losing- so I also didn’t want to spend that amount of cash on something that might not be the right size forever.

Enter- the duct tape dress form. I’ve seen variations of these all over. They’re pretty cheap, but a bit time intensive. I apologize for the smattering of blurred photos…trusty husband is not very pro at picture taking.

Things you will need:

An outfit you don’t care very much about

A garbage bag (or poncho you’re not attached to)

Saran wrap

Scissors that can cut tape and you don’t mind getting gunky


A LOT of plastic grocery bags or other filling material (I also used butcher paper and bubble wrap from packages that were shipped to me)

A buddy!

2 kinds of duct tape – one for your base layers, and a fun color or printed duct tape for your final layer. Of course, if you prefer silver, then you’ll just need one kind. I used one large roll of silver [40 yards ought to do it], and two rolls of zebra print [10 yards each for a total of 20 yards]. It’s always better to have more duct tape than have to run back to the store mid project- plus, there are plenty of other uses for duct tape so it doesn’t hurt to have leftovers laying around.

Ok then. Here we go.

First, cut some armholes and a neckhole in your garbage bag and put it on like a poncho. Make sure you’re wearing a good bra! Then, wrap the saran wrap around your hips- essentially extending the bagged area down further. You want your butt to be covered, so if you’re using this to make pants or a skirt, you’ll have enough of your lower half replicated to do the job right. Also saran wrap your arms to about mid-bicep.


Garbage bag poncho.

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Stenciled Shirts, Part 2: Fabric Spray Paint Louisiana Outline


Now that I’m getting my stenciling technique down (sort of), I decided to tackle a project I’ve wanted to do for some time. For our honeymoon (…in 2010) I made us matching baseball tees with our last name on the back. I never found a pre-made design I liked enough to put on the front, so the front has been plain. I had looked for Louisiana or fleur de lis decals I liked, but not much luck on ones that weren’t metallic and would be suitable for a male or a female.


You’ll need all the same stuff from my previous post for creating your stencil- cardstock, an exacto knife, cardboard to tape your outline to while you cut.

You’ll also need:

Fabric spray paint, or fabric paint and a paintbrush (I bought both…)

The shirt you want to work on

Double sided tape

LA Stencil

Tape your stencil down, and spray.

This time I made a Louisiana stencil, and cut a tiny heart out over the Baton Rouge area- where we met.

 I used my double sided tape from the beginning this time, especially because this stencil has so many tiny parts on the edges. You  will also want to make sure that if you’re doing any kind of cutout inside a stencil, you tape the edges very well there too to prevent the paint from bleeding.


Gently peel off your stencil. On my second go I lost a sliver of the southern coast that I peeled off with a fork without ruining anything.


The husband likes his! Full disclosure: the small heart over Baton Rouge was actually his idea.

I’m pretty thrilled with how they turned out! You can see a few splotchy areas where it wasn’t totally even- just something to keep in mind if you use this Tulip fabric spray paint.

I legitimately woke up this morning thinking of new designs I could do on other shirts, combinations of fabric paint and bleach and who knows what else. More to come I’m sure.

From the Archives: Peacock Feather Centerpieces, Boutonnières, and Bouquets


So as it’s wedding season, and I love thinking about my wedding (even though it’s nearly our two year anniversary), I thought I would share how we made our centerpieces, and some other wedding things involving peacock feathers.

Centerpiece materials:

8 bottles of wine (about $4 each- we were on a serious budget)

Peacock feathers about 18-24 inches (you’ll want 25-30, or 2-3 for each bottle)

Peacock “swords” (1-2 per bottle)

Size 3 & 1/3” x 4” inch white adhesive labels


Just estimating what I remember, it was around $60 for the centerpiece materials (and I used the feathers for several other projects, as well).

Finished centerpiece.

We bought bottles of red wine that were cheap and looked fairly nice: green with a little gold foil at the top. We dumped out all the wine- and used it to make sangria! Waste not and all that.

Then we rinsed and soaked the wine bottles in water to get most of the label off. Meanwhile, I printed up some labels that said our name and the wedding date below that in a fancy script I liked.

Dry the bottles off, slap those labels on to cover up any residue/old label you couldn’t get off, and then put your peacock feathers into the bottles. We used feathers that were 18-24 inches tall (12” ones will generally be too short and fall inside your bottle), and I also had some peacock “sword” feathers that I had left over from boutonnières I made for the groomsmen and groom (coming up next).

Boutonnière materials:

1 peacock feather and sword feather each


Straight pins (small, pearl head)

Hot glue gun


Purple for the groom, to match my sash.

Cut your peacock and sword feathers to the size you want. Use a little hot glue on the lower “stem” section to fuse the two feathers together—if you don’t glue it before you start wrapping the ribbon, they have a tendency to twist around while you’re wrapping.

I actually ended up not using the pins and hot gluing the end of my ribbon down so it wouldn’t unravel. The pins I had were a little too big. You will, however, need pins to put it on your groom!

Bouquet materials:



Straight pins (pearl head)


Bouquets are pretty straightforward… arrange them in a way you like, then wrap with ribbon, and pin in place. I made my bouquets with the help of my wonderful bridesmaids and friends. We ordered flowers online (white roses and dark purple calla lilies). I used the same ribbon leftover from the boutonnières to wrap the bouquets, and pinned them in place with the pearl headed straight pins from the same project. It took about 2 pins each. Voila!

Team Fontaine!

I can’t take credit for my headpiece, but if you love it, check out Jen over at http://headfulloffeathers.com/! She did a fabulous job, I wish I had excuse(s) to wear it all the time.

Dog Treat Pouch


So our foster pup who will probably never leave us, has to go to dog school if he gets to be part of Team Fontaine. Doogie has been with us since Christmas. He has some dog on dog aggression issues, and fear of basically everything (loud noises, men, the wind) but if you’ve ever trained a dog you know that for most dogs, food is better than gold. Doogie would commit murder for some hot dog (even a Turkey dog). Though this upcoming week is his last week of this particular class, training is an ongoing thing so I decided to make him a cute treat pouch! Mostly because if I don’t have pockets it’s really tough to have that ziplock bag in one hand and ready to go when he’s doing the right thing.

Things you will need:

4 rectangles of fabric (two cotton or some other cute print, the other two vinyl or similar for the interior)

Ribbon, basting tape, or fabric that has been folded into something suitable for your drawstring

Basic sewing stuff: machine, thread, seam ripper

Ready? Bring on the bacon.

What kind of tasty treats might be in here...

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Basic 5×7 Handmade Envelopes: Tutorial


Since I just took some senior pictures for my sister I wanted to send a few 5x7s to our family with our Christmas cards this year. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since it gave me a craft project to work on?) the cards I already had were smaller than 5×7, so the pictures wouldn’t fit in the envelopes that came with them. I decided to make some.

I spent some time looking around for a pattern or a template online, but I didn’t have much luck finding ones I liked that were the right size. I decided to just do what seemed logical to me in the scheme of envelopes.

First, I found some cardstock I had around (standard 8×11 paper size). I realized later I probably had some colored construction paper somewhere, but the white made the stamps show up better anyways. The first one wasn’t as awesome as it could have been, mostly because I was using it for trial and error. Turns out I wish I had more stamps! If we’d had some potatoes I might have tried to make one.

Let's mail some holiday cheer, yo.

Supplies you will need: scissors, heavyweight paper of some sort, your choice of decorating supplies, a pen or pencil, and glue or tape. And postage, if you ever want your mail to get delivered.

Alternatively, you could use two thinner papers (wrapping paper and regular weight, for example) and glue the two pieces together to make a regular weight envelope. I wanted these to be heavier, to protect the pictures from our trusty postal service’s ungentle hands.

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