Posted Friday, December 27, 2013

This year I went a little overboard on DIY gifts. I totally blame the creativeness on Pinterest. These gifts were all inspired by posts on Pinterest. I will link to the original tutorial but I’m also including some tips of my own and my shopping list if I have it.

Thankful Board

Thankful DIY Board
I made these for my mom and dad as well as sis and brother-in-law. And, ok, I made one for me too. They were so simple to make! Check out the entire tutorial on Shanty-2-Chic and the finished board with photos. I don’t have photos on mine yet because I want the latest photos which I still have to print out.

Supply list:

1×8 piece of wood, cut in half. ($6.78 Home Depot)
Antique Brass Upholstery Nails ($1.30 a box of 20 – need 2 boxes – Home Depot)
Minwax Wood Finish in Jacobean ($4.78 Home Depot)
Tim Holtz Clips to hang photos ($3.99 for 15 Hobby Lobby)
E6000 glue to attach clips ($2.99 Hobby Lobby)
Thick Rope ($1.00 at the shop I use their tools)
Lettering (free printable from Shanty-2-Chic)

Steps and Tips:

Home Depot (and I’m sure other home improvement stores) will cut the wood for you. Just ask them to cut it in half.

Sand the wood – special emphasis on the sides and ends. I’m lucky in that I have a place I can go to use tools and just pay an hourly rate to work on projects.

Make holes for the rope to hang to hold up the board. (About 7 inches from the side and 1 1/2 inches from the top.)

Apply the wood stain with a paint brush (not a foam brush) going in the direction of the wood. Allow to dry according to instructions on can, then wipe off with a cloth. This takes a while to dry completely and even then the smell still stays for a while. I had to make a 6 hr. drive home with the windows down quite a bit because of the smell.

Once dry add the cut printables. I had to cut mine down a bit more to allow ample room for the holes and clips. Hold down by adding upholstery nails on all four sides of each one. Hold the nails with your thumb and index finger and start hammering in. Once it’s in and you can let go, whack that in with a couple of hard hits of the hammer. If you try to go slow, it will go in crooked – or that may be just me.

Then you are ready to glue the clips in. I actually found the clips Shanty-2-Chic used on Amazon but they were out of stock so I had to improvise. Whatever you can find will work out. Use some E6000 glue by just adding a small drop of glue on the wood. Push down the clip on the glue and hold steady for about a minute. Let dry completely.

Add the rope and you are done!

Thankful Board DIY

Family Birthdays Board

Family Birthday Board DIY

I have been wanting to make this board for my mom for a while but I didn’t want to use my own handwriting to paint the letters. And I don’t have a cricut or any way to add the lettering. But with this tutorial I found online at Burlap and Blue, they provided a link to the vinyl from Belvedere Designs with everything you need. Another score!


8×24 white laminate shelf ($3.98 Home Depot)
6×18 Vinyl from Belvedere Designs ($18 plus shipping)
Cup Hooks ($3.94 Home Depot)

Steps and Tips:

This one is so easy. The laminate board you buy at Home Depot is the perfect size. Plus it’s already smooth and painted white. Just wipe off clean and dry then you are ready.

Apply the vinyl by measuring to ensure it is even on both sides. Place vinyl down and tape down on the top and over the side. Remove the backing. Then using the squeegee that comes with the vinyl, smooth down the first word. Remove the paper and the vinyl should stay on the laminate shelf.

Position the birthdays vinyl and repeat the process.

The months come spaces out, but you can do what I did and cut them to space them even further to fit completely along the shelf.

Prepare to add the cup hooks by drilling a small hole into the bottom of the shelf center of each month. Screw on the cup hooks. Your fingers will start to hurt so I used some pliers to help me tighten the hooks.

Voila you are done.

Family Birthdays Board DIY

Gratitude Frame

Gratitude Frame

This frame tutorial was over at Tatertots and Jello and just screamed for me to make for my sis. I loved how it turned out that when I get back home I’m going to make one for myself!

I thought it would take more time than it did but it was so quick to make.


10×13 frame ($5.99 Michael’s)
Spare Parts Eye Hooks ($3.99 Michael’s)
Crochet Flowers ($2.49 Michael’s)
Chalkboard Tags ($4.99 Michael’s)
Design Clothespins ($2.99 Michael’s)
Twine ($1.49 Michael’s)
E6000 glue ($2.99 Hobby Lobby)

Steps and Tips:

Start with removing the glass, backing and metal clips on the frame. I removed my hooks with pliers.

Make holes along the insides of the frame by hammering in a nail about two inches apart from top to bottom. Remove nail then screw in the eye hooks. Once again, you can use pliers, gently, to tighten to hooks.

I doubled up the twine and pulled it through the eye hooks. I then made knots at each end and glued the ends down with E6000 glue. You can also staple in the ends to the frame.

Then I glued two chalkboard tags on the top and left them blank so my sister could add whatever she wanted.

Next, glue the flowers as a decorative touch.

Lastly, add the Clothespins to add your slips of paper with what you are grateful and thankful for.

Gratitude Frame DIY

And done.

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Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013

I hope you had a wonderful and merry Christmas. Ours was nice and low-key.

Every year I make the kids stockings to open up at my parents house. I don’t think in their 13 years I’ve ever made them a traditional stocking – well, that I can remember.

I usually make or transform something that they can use later. We’ve had paint cans, wooden chalkboard boxes and things like that before. This year I moved in December so I was a little overwhelmed and didn’t come up with something until the week before Christmas.

alternative christmas stockings
I found these adorable Santa baskets at Michael’s and they were 70% off! Score! They fit quite a bit in them and the kids loved them. I thought I’d get to take them back with me to use as decorations for next year but all three took them home with them.

I asked the kids if they’d rather have traditional stockings from now on and they all screamed “NO!!”. They said what I use fits more than a stocking so they’ll stick with whatever I use for them.

alternative christmas stockings

alternative christmas stockings

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Posted Saturday, November 16, 2013

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Texas Stars Hockey & Heels night. Having never been I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but being a huge fan of hockey I knew I wanted to go.

I ended up going alone but quickly met some other “singles” there to hang out with throughout the event.

First we were fed a wonderful buffet from Brio Tuscan Grille. Their Pasta Fra Diavolo was my favorite of the night. So creamy and delicious.

Then we were escorted onto the ice to a seating section. Once seated, we were introduced to the assistant coach and about a dozen players. The coach and players then gave us hockey 101 demonstrations that were both hilarious and very enlightening.

Texas Stars Hockey & Heels

They even demonstrated a hockey fight for us.

Texas Stars Hockey & Heels

The organization set up several stations for us to experience that were so much fun.

We had slapshot training.
And time in the sin bin.
Dress up time in hockey gear (which I passed on).
Time for sitting on the zamboni.
And a tour of a stinky, stinky locker room. Did I mention it was stinky? Wow.

Texas Stars Hockey & Heels

I gladly put up with the smell because the alternative was freezing my toes off. They were seriously hurting from the ice.

After everyone had time to experience all the stations and a tour, it was time for door prizes and an auction.

Although the door prizes were all great, I was hoping for some signed hockey equipment to take home. Alas I didn’t win anything.

All in all it was a great night and something I’ll definitely do again next year – and drag along some friends. I loved hockey before but after this experience, I am even more of a fan. The players all were extremely nice and patient and just as loveable as could be. I can’t wait to go see a game soon!

You can see all my pictures from the Texas Stars Hockey & Heels 2013 here.

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Posted Friday, October 18, 2013

Yesterday I went to the library to see how it would work as my home base of operations. It’s got free wi-fi, no television, it’s quiet and I’m surrounded by books. Perfect.

After spending a few hours there working, as I was leaving I came across these adorable pumpkin decorations.

pumpkins from books
I mean seriously. How adorable is that?! It does take some time when you don’t have a heavy duty saw to cut through the books. But they are too cute not to try.

You just take a paperback book and trace out a pumpkin on the pages (half a pumpkin) and start cutting the pages – leaving the binding in tact. Once you get the book cut, you take some orange (and brown or black) ink and ink the edge of pages. Glue the front and back pages together then fan out the remaining pages. Stick either a wooden stick and some leaves in the middle or get crafty and make your own stem and leaf.

They’re on my list of DIY crafts to try but I had to share for those of you who are crafty and want to give them a try before Halloween gets here.

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