Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier

The new house that I'll be moving into has those boring ceiling lights, you know the kind, just there, boring, sooo blah, and sooo not Solaris.. I'd love to replace them with a couple of these...

Small Capiz Shell Chandelier
..but it's $149 at West Elm, and buying a house I'm trying to save as much money as I can.. so when I saw this on Buzzfeed DIY I thought "Hell I can do that in an afternoon!" Turns out I was partly correct**
Here are the materials you'll need:
- wire wreath frame
- white spray paint
- old t-shirt
- iron
- metal cutters
- circle cutter
- glue gun
- wax paper
- white thread and needle
- cutting board
For the supplies I didn't already own (wreath frame, spray paint and wax paper) I spent about $10.
I cut off the outer circle of the frame and then spray painted it white. Trust me, you'll want to do this first so it can dry while you cut out your circles...
all eleventy billion of them...

I set my circle cutter to 2 inches and went to town!! Oh yeah, did I mention that you're going to have to stack the circles in 3's...? Fun....

Take your 3-high stacks of circles, place an old t-shirt over them and use a warm iron to melt them together, that way they'll look a lot more like actual capiz shells than a single wax circle.
You're going to need to make 2 sets of strands for your chandelier (or 3, but hey, if you want to cut more circles, that's all you), one short, and one long. Decided however many circles you want in each strand set, line them up, and sew them together up through the middle... I have absolutely no room in my too small apartment for a sewing machine (I have to do it all by hand) so you can see why I on;y did 2 sets of strands instead of 3 or 4.... but the more strands the better!! Maybe one of these days I'll get really bored and add one in, but for now, 2 will do.
The more opaque circles are from an old lamp shade that I was throwing out, I used the paper to cut more circles (BONUS I didn't have to stack or melt them together).
Take your DRY wreath frame and lay it so the "lipped" side is up. Hot glue your shorter strands to the outside ring, and your longer strands to the inside ring.
I used 3x small hooks to hold the outer ring onto the ceiling.
You know, looking at it, I think I might just make that extra row of strands... what do y'all think?

**It took all day cutting out the damn circles and waiting for the wreath frame to be completely dry, but for $10?? Hell yeah, I'll take that!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monogrammed Wreath

What's a quick easy way to let visitors know that they're at the right house? With a personalized wreath!

So first I have to apologize for not taking a "before" picture of all the supplies, so I'll just go ahead and list them all here (everything costs about $28 at my local craft store):

- straw wreath (leave the plastic on)
- 2x duct tape sheets
- decorative beads to personalize your wreath
- twine
- hot glue gun
- small wooden sign (I chose "family")
- wooden letter
Start by tying the twine and knotting it in the back of the wreath. Then continue wrapping the twine around until the wreath is completely covered.

When it's completely covered in twine, tie off a loop to hang up the wreath.

Take one sheet of duct tape paper and cut it in half, wrap it around the wreath. Cover your wooden letter with the other sheet and glue it onto the wreath.

Cover the half strip of duct tape with ribbon (you can just wrap it around and knot it in the back like you did with the twine).


Next, glue your beads or decorative items onto your sign; once dry you can glue the sign onto the wreath.

And just for kicks, I added a ribbon to that loop we made earlier.
Hang it up on your door and you're done!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nautical Birthday Prep: Sailboat Napkin Holder

I was looking online to get ideas for centerpieces and napkin holders for James' nautical themed birthday party, but I didn't really like I found. Then it hit me: combine a centerpiece with the napkin holder so there's more room on the table for food and CAKE!

First, gather up your supplies (ignore the hole puncher, I ended using a box cutter):

You'll need a cereal bar sized box, paint for your life preservers, painter's tape, scissors, regular scotch or packing tape, 2x straws, a glue gun, a china marker, and a box cutter.
First, draw out your sailboat shape (step A) on the bottom half of the box on both sides. Cut out your sailboat shape (step B), but leave the bottom and the back half of the box attached (you can cut out the top flaps). Fold over the back half of the box (step C) and tape to the other side (step D).
Don't throw out your leftover cardboard pieces! You'll need them to make the sides of your sailboat; tape the top on and then cut them down to fit. Make sure all of the edges are taped down when you're done.

Cover your sailboat in painter's tape horizontally, not vertically and cut the edges (don't wrap the pieces around). I went over the lines where the tape pieces meet with the china marker to make it look more like "wooden" planks. Draw on and paint your life preservers, hopefully you have better art skills than I do! Once the paint is dry, outline it with the china marker, it'll look a lot better!!
Mark where you want your straws to go and make small holes with a box cutter to insert them. Glue them onto the sailboat so that stay standing up straight under the weight of the napkins.

When the glue is dry you can add your napkins (bonus: you get to use your everyday white napkins instead of having to buy fancy themed ones). All together it takes about 25min and costs nothing to make using things I already had lying around.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lake Smith Photoshoot

This post isn't DIY, but the blog is about things I do when I'm bored, sooooo....

A few weeks ago the boys were over at daddy's house and I was bored (trolling..?) on Facebook when I saw a post by my good friend Bethanne Arthur. Bethanne and I are in the Navy together, but she also has a side gig as a photographer; I kinda don't want to call her an aspiring photographer since she's gotten really good really fast at what she does, so when she posted that she was looking for a volunteer to model for her so she could "shoot for herself" and get some practice in and improve herself I jumped on the chance, especially after she did such an awesome job on my family photos a few months back.

The divorce has been a real blow to my already low self esteem, it felt good to get dolled up and feel pretty and have a little fun for a bit.

Anyways I won't steal her thunder, here she is in her own words on our shoot, and you can check out her photo blog here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nautical Birthday Prep: Banners, Bunting, and Paper Sailor Hats

In a little over two months, my little guy will be turning 1 year old. I know every parent says this, but damn does time go by fast.

                                              a few minutes old                                             5 months old
8 months old
This past year has been so shitty for me, James and his big brother Johnny have been one of the few good things in my life so I want his first birthday to be as awesome as he is. For Johnny's first birthday we went with a New York Yankees theme and I remember spending a ridiculous amount of time and money special ordering all of the supplies. For James I'll be going with a DIY nautical theme. His birthday is in September but in between now and his birthday I've also got his baptism, I'm closing on a house, so that means painting, moving, and fixing up, oh and did I also mention that I'm getting ready to transfer to a new command? So if I can get a head start on decorations so it's less for me to worry about later on, then hell yeah, game on.
For the banners and bunting I picked up twine, felt, paint, foam stars, and the wooden letters and shapes I would need from my local craft store for around $25.
First I painted my wooden letters and shapes so that they could dry while I cut out the felt pennants.
I arranged all of my pieces in the order I wanted, lined them up with a long enough piece of twine and sewed the pennants onto the twine.
The foam stars were thick enough that I was able to sew a piece of thread to tie onto the twine, and the wooden shapes were soft enough that I was able to poke a hole using a small nail in them in order to make a hole for the thread and needle to go through and tie them to the twine also.
It's pretty simple to make, it's just really repetitive and tedious. And it's so worth it once you're done; for under $25 I was able to make 5 personalized banners and buntings, and I still have plenty of felt pennants and twine left over, I may even make more bunting for his high chair and the dining table later on.
Now onto the paper sailor hats! You can't have a nautical themed party with regular pointy party hats, you need dixie cups just like real sailors wear! I got the supplies (6in paper bags and rubber bands) from Target for $3.75. I think I might go ahead and frame the receipt because that's the smallest amount I've ever spent at Target in the history of ever. Unfortunately, all they had where brown bags which don't photograph very well, so I'm going to borrow a clip art from
 I'll eventually track down some white paper bags, but since this was just a practice run to make sure I know what I'm doing, the color didn't really matter.

To make this sailor hat, you will need a rubber band, a white bakery bag that is 6" wide when folded, scissors, and a pen or pencil. Fold open edge of bag back 2 1/2", then fold it again to make a brim 2 1/2" wide (sketch a). Cut off bottom of bag. Gather cut end together and pull down through folded brim (sketch b). Put a rubber band tightly around gathered end about 6" from last fold. Cut off excess paper below rubber band. Push gathered ends back through folded brim to form top of hat (sketch c).
And there you have it! Stay tuned for a DIY balloon drop!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Magnetic Makeup Organizer

I absolutely hate clutter. I believe in a place for everything, and everything in it's place. It's safe to say that I'm pretty organized... except when it comes to my makeup bag. At least the makeup is all inside the bag (somewhere), right?

umm, about that....
Every morning I have to track down my eyeliner, mascara, why haven't I thrown out this busted hairpin? Is my lip gloss even in here? Is it in my uniform pocket??? Now I'm going to be even more late!!! I don't wear a lot of makeup very often, but when I do, I like to know where it is, so I was pretty stoked when I saw magnetic makeup organizer boards online. However, they range from $30-$40 + shipping, and it's not gonna help me find my MIA eyeliner before work tomorrow morning. Also I'm kinda a cheap bastard (which definitely helps you develop your crafty side) so I went out and bought everything I'd need to make my own.


Mostly everything in the picture except for the frame (Goodwill) and the metal sheet (Home Depot) I was able to find at Walmart. All together, it cost a little less than $25 for everything, including the shower curtain liner doubling as a drop cloth which I use to protect my carpet when I do my projects. If you can't tell what the items in the photo are, don't worry, I'll list them in the instructions.

First I took the back off of the frame, and used the cardboard insert to measure out and trace on the metal the area I wanted to cut out using snipers (wear thick gloves, the edges are sharp!).

Next I used fabric adhesive spray to get the fabric to stick to the metal. This should be done in a ventilated space, but since I'm in an apartment I did it in my living room with my sliding door open. Follow the directions on the spray for setting times.

After it's dry you can cut the excess fabric so that it stays neatly inside your frame. Replace the mats and the cardboard backing just like you normally would.

I had to add a few small nails behind the last piece of cardboard to help secure the metal board.

Next hot glue your magnets to your makeup. Unlike superglue, hot glue will do the job and is much easier to remove and reuse whenever your makeup runs out. The pencil holder I picked out for my mascara and lip gloss was for a magnetic dry erase board, so that's one less thing I had to worry about.

While you're waiting for that to dry, you can hang up your board on your bathroom wall, lean it up against your dresser mirror, or wherever else you want. Then stick your makeup on and enjoy!

P.S. I found my eyeliner. It was with my ponytails and hairclips.