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DIY Green Lantern Lantern

6 Apr

This is a sponsored post. This is also what the Green Lantern would have in his house if he had a better decorator.

I have to admit that when I started this project, I had no idea what I was making. You see, the folks behind the CC Bottle Cutter asked me if I wanted to review their product, and I jumped at the chance. For years I’ve been seeing awesome wine bottle crafts on Pinterest, but the idea of soaking a string in alcohol and setting it on fire seemed like it was a great way to burn down my building. With the CC Bottle Cutter, there’s no alcohol or fire involved, so I figured I could handle things. Plus, the website has amazing how to videos.

I started with three empty wine bottles. Fun fact: to get the labels off, stick the bottles in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then, using an oven mitt and being very careful, just peel the labels off. Voila. Make sure you wait for them to cool to room temp before you start the cutting process.

Then strap in your bottle and make a score line according to the instructions. Then do some more instruction following to split your bottles. I did make one modification. The instructions and all the videos I watched said to use alternating hot and cold water to split the bottles. I tried that, and couldn’t get so much as a crack. So I ran my kitchen torch around the score line and then ran the bottle under cold water and it worked like a charm. Well, not quite a charm. Here are my results:

I tossed the tall bottle. I think I tried to split it at a point that was too narrow, because it was all jagged and weirdly uneven. Plus, the bottle had an etched label, and it just felt like more work than I felt like putting in. The green bottle had a small chip out of the top where it didn’t split perfectly, but the other clear bottle was nearly perfect. I think it might have been because the glass was thicker.

I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with the clear bottle, so for now it’s going to stay plain and I’ll use it as a vase. The green bottle became a Green Lantern votive holder. Because why not? I used a paint pen to draw the symbol, and then put washi tape around the top and bottom. That was partly to finish it off, and partly to hide that chip at the top.

You can see where my paint pen lines weren’t perfect, but going over it again was just making it worse so I decided to let it be. All in all, I don’t think it’s too bad for a last minute and totally unplanned project.

You can get your own CC Bottle Cutter, and make sure to check out some of the amazing inspiration projects on their site. I want to make just about all of them, but I definitely need more practice!

DIY Jewelry Organizer

26 Mar

I needed a way to organize and display my jewelry, in the hopes that seeing it out would inspire me to wear more than the same necklace every day, but I couldn’t find one that fit my needs. So I took matters into my own hands and made one!

So here’s the sitch, I have no counter space in my bathroom. None. Zilch. See?

Not exaggerating. So I needed a hanging jewelry organizer, but I had a hard time finding one that I liked. Most of them were only for necklaces, or for necklaces and earrings. I wanted something to hold everything, and it had to be big. So I made my own.

Here’s how it went down. I started with a plain wooden frame, some screen (from the woodworking aisle of Micheal’s) and a staple gun. But then it turned out my staple gun was broken, so I just used thumb tacks. Once I had the screen attached to the back of the frame, I used E600 to attach small wooden cubes to each corner. I did this because I want to hang earrings from the screen, and I wanted them to be far enough away from the wall so that the frame wasn’t moving around and jostling everything when I put earrings on or took them off.

Then I painted my frame off-white and used more E600 – damn I love that stuff – to attach wooden balls around the edge to hold bracelets and necklaces. I also cut down a dowel rod and used, you guessed it, E600 to attach it to the top as a ring holder. And of course I had to paint the accents in varying shades of green.

I used white mug hooks to hang the frame to accommodate the depth, and then put up on the sparkly stuff! The good stuff is still in my fire safe, and I haven’t figured out what to do with my stud back earrings yet, but overall I’m so happy with the way this turned out!

It cost about $27 to make, which was the same or less than anything else I could find. Plus, this way I get exactly what I want. Oh, and if you have any suggestions about the stud back earrings, I’d love to hear them!

Christmas Tour 2014

23 Dec

I don’t know what’s wrong with me this year, but I just haven’t been able to really get into Christmas. Usually I love carefully decorating every inch of my home, and crafting new decorations. This year, I just kind of threw stuff up. But, tradition is tradition, so I’m posting my holiday home tour. (Another sign I’m not really into Christmas? This sucker is usually up the first or second week of December.)

Let’s start in the living room. I put up my lighted wreath and garland that I made a few years ago, along with stocking for Teddy and me. And I think I showed tremendous emotional growth by not swapping the stockings.

I had to put up my gingerbread puppy frames.

I did a small whale tree with these great glitter trees that I bought last year.

And of course I had to break out the Christmas blanket for Bear.

The other couch got a similar holiday treatment.

Moving across the apartment, I had to add my adorable “Baking in Progress” sign to the front door.

Of course, my pink gingerbread tree and little village took up residence on my dining room table, where it goes every year.

And in the kitchen, I put out special Christmas bowls for Teddy. This picture reminds me that my baseboards could use a little touch-up paint.

I saved the best for last. I really am obsessed with my big tree this year. I got a new 7.5′ tree and decorated it in a theme I’m calling Vintage Shimmer.

For the topper I used an antique looking birdcage.

Seriously, LOVE this tree.

I know I never repeat themes on the main tree, but this one may have to come back at some point. (Not next year, I already know what next year’s theme will be.)

Label Your Life

16 Dec

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and craftiness are my own.

Do you need a last minute gift? Have you considered a label maker? I know, I know, it sounds like a weird gift. But it could be perfect for the OCD Type A in your life. Of course, you’re talking to a woman who was once thrilled to receive a laminator for Christmas. But back to label makers. I recently had a chance to play with Brother’s PT-D200 and it did not disappoint.

There are four different fonts, tons of emojis, and more text and font treatments than you can imagine. Plus, there are tons of different tapes that you can use to create unique and personalized crafts. It’s an organizer’s dream. And this is not your grandfather’s label maker. My grandfather labeled everything (gee, I wonder where I get it?) and his label maker was this old school typewriter style thing. It embossed vinyl strips with one font of all caps letters. This is not that label maker. It’s like a tiny computer, and I haven’t even begun to tap all the different things it can do.

Of course you know that label makers are a dream come true for organization. But did you know they’re also great for crafting? I had so much fun with this baby!

First up, I made this adorable custom garland for my gingerbread tree. I used the berry colored tape with white ink to print different Christmas sayings mixed with cute little Christmas-y icons.

Gingerbread Dreams and Cookie Wishes! How stinking cute is that?!

*Infomercial Voice* But wait! That’s not all! I also made an Advent chain. You can use different colored tape and customize chains for each of your kids with fun treats and helpful tasks for them to do every day.

Just print the tasks and treats on different colored tapes, then tape them together in loops to form your chain.

There are so many things that you can do with Brother’s PT-D200. Place cards, gift tags from Santa (for the year your kids inevitably notice that Santa’s handwriting looks a lot like Daddy’s), holiday cookie labels, return address labels, scrapbooking labels, and so so much more. So finish your last minute shopping by putting a label maker under your tree!

Disclaimer Part Two: A label maker is indeed a great gift, but guys, please do yourselves a favor and make sure it’s not the only thing you get for the lady in your life. Trust me, and you’re welcome.

Halloween Caramel Apples

27 Oct

You know what’s good? Apples. You know what’s better? Apples covered in candy. (It’s true of all fruit really.) So I made some fun Halloween inspired caramel apples to satisfy my sweet tooth and get some of my fruit allowance for the day.

Here’s how I did it, and how you can do it too.

First gather your ingredients. Mainly caramel and apples and sticks, but you’ll also want to grab a bunch of different fall themed candy. It doesn’t really matter what you get, just walk through the candy aisle at Target and grab whatever catches your fancy.

Then follow the instructions on the caramel to melt it, only use vanilla almond milk instead of water for a richer and creamier caramel. If you don’t have a double broiler for melting, and I don’t because I don’t have space for that nonsense, you can use a small pot and a stainless steel mixing bowl.

Melt the caramel until it’s a gorgeous, silky texture. Then stare at it for a while and inhale the scent of happiness.

Then coat the apples.

Now the fun part – adding the candy! Do it however suits your fancy. But a tip – the peanut butter M&Ms are hard to stick. Make sure you have clean hands, because you’ll need to cup the apple in your hands and squeeze a bit to get the nuts and candy to really stick in to the caramel.

Then melt your chocolate and white chocolate chips for drizzling, and be sure to add food coloring to make the white chocolate orange! If you add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the chip, they’ll melt with a smoother texture.

Now drizzle them and add sprinkles! But do it with more patience than I had. If you take the time to put the melted chocolate in a Ziploc with a small hole cut in it you’ll have more control and a prettier drizzle. Instead I used a spoon and ended up with globs.

And here’s my final assortment! These were fun to make, but even more fun to eat. You’re definitely going to want to use a knife to cut these – with all that deliciousness on them it’s going to be way too hard to take bites out of.

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