Archive for the 'DIY' Category

DIY Ant-Be-Gone

My apartment is part of a very old house and, as with all old houses, it has it’s share of bugs and critters crawling around. Namely, sugar ants. Don’t get me wrong, I love sugar ants. They are the cutest ants around and they’re too small to see all their creepy ant features. But I don’t want them in my house.

Last summer when they heavily infiltrated my kitchen (I opened the window ONE TIME and they swarmed), I found a super easy recipe to get rid of them. Borax and jam.

You will need:

photo 1 (1)– Borax
– jam
– spoon and bowl for mixing
– something to put it in (I used a candle lid)

Let’s get started!

1) Spoon some Borax into your bowl.

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2) Spoon some jam into your bowl. I like Smuckers because it’s good for, like, a year and a half. This is the jar I got last year, and I’ll probably use it next year. That’s kind of gross but I’m not eating it- it’s just for ants. I don’t measure, but it’s about a 1 spoon Borax  to 3 spoons jam ration.

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3) Mix it really well!

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Then spoon it into the candle lid. Last year I used a frosting lid.

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(I tried to bend the side down and broke it. Oops.)

Whatever you use, make sure it’s shallow and the ants can get into it. Place where you see ants.

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The great thing about Borax is it doesn’t kill the ants immediately. They have a snack, bring some home, share it with the colony, and THEN they start to die. If you place it near their front door, they’ll actually collect their dead friends so you don’t have to clean them up! Fascinating creatures.

Good luck getting rid of your ants! If you have any other methods, please share them with me :)

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Makeup bag tutorial

I do a lot of sewing but I don’t share too many sewing DIYs on the blog- what’s up with that?! So today I’m going to show you how to make your very one makeup bag!

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Supplies:
– sewing machine
– all-purpose foot
– zipper foot

IMG_3776All-purpose- left, zipper foot- right. Most machines comes with these feet.

– card stock
– ruler
– pencil
– pen
– scissors
– fabric, two colors or prints

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– interfacing, to make it sturdy!
– zipper
– iron
– pins

Let’s get started!

1) First we have to make our pattern. You can use the one I did or you can make your own- the directions will be the same. You’ll start with a rectangle, I used 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch, and then cut two squares out of the bottom, so it looks like the picture. I cut out 1 inch squares.

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2) Grab your fabric and interfacing. What I like to do is trace my pattern onto the interfacing with pencil,

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then cut out the fabric to match the pieces of interfacing I have.

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That way, when I go to iron it, I’m not trying to match two perfectly-cut makeup bag pieces together and worrying about them not lining up just right.
3) Iron your fabric and interfacing together.

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4) Cut out your pieces, along the pencil lines. But tracing the pattern just once onto the interfacing, and cutting it after you iron, you only have to cut the pattern once! And I specifically use pencil because you can’t see it once the project is done AND you don’t have to worry about it getting wet and running (like with pen and markers).

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5) It’s zipper time! Zippers can seem intimating, but they’re really just scared and acting out in aggression.

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Take one of your inside fabric pieces and lay it right-side up. Lay the zipper right-side up on top of it.

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And then lay your outside piece right-side down. Make sure the pieces line up with each other on all sides, and that the zipper is tucked nice and close to the tops

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6) Secure with pins.

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7) Using your zipper foot, sew along the edge with the zipper pinned in place.

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It should look like this when you are done.

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8) This part is optional. I like to flip the fabric right-sides out and sew along that zipper edge again. It helps hold the fabric in place and I like the clean look it gives the finished bag.

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Next) Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric. Make sure you place your pieces on the right sides! Inside fabric should be right-side down on the inside fabric side, and outside fabric should be right-side down on the outside fabric side.

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So when you are done stitching it together and open it up, it will look like this:

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10) Flip your project around so that the inside fabric pieces are touching and your outside fabric pieces are touching, with the zipper in the middle. I like to call this butterflying but I know that can mean different things and I don’t want anyone to, like, fillet their bag or anything.

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11) Very Important! Unzip the zipper halfway! If you skip this part, you won’t be able to turn your bag right-side out when the time comes!

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After that) Before we pin anything in place, make sure the zipper teeth face up into the inside of the bag.

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Still facing up.

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13) Secure with a pin.

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14) Again, make sure your zipper is facing teeth up into the bag before you pin anything down.

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Pin in place. Sometimes I add an extra pin here or there to hold it together while I sew, and sometimes I only pin where the zipper is.

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15) Switch your sewing foot to the all-purpose one and sew all the way around, making sure to leave an opening along the bottom inside-fabric edge.

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Just sewing.

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Be Careful!) Because I lined my zipper up with the edge of my fabric, there is a little metal nub hiding in there. And that nub is a land mine to your sewing machine needle. As you get close to it, check to make sure you aren’t going to run it over.

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And Remember) Leave that opening! You’ll need it later.

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18) Trim off the extra threads and zipper.

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19) Remember those little squares we cut out of the pattern? It’s time for those to come into play. Where each corner should be, line up the edges of fabric…

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and pin them in place.

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Now) Sew right along that edge.

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It should look like this when you’re done.

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21) Repeat for all 4 corners. Or lack-of-corners. Anyway, this is what will give your bag a proper bottom and will allow it to stand up on its own.

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22) Remember that opening we left?

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Reach in and pull your bag out. Well, pull the fabric right-side out.

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23) Push out the bottom corns,

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24) and the zipper. It’ll look like this when you first flip it right-side out. But with a little pushing…

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it will look like this!

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25) Now we just have to close up that little hole in the bottom.

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So pull the inside fabric out a bit, and pin the hole closed.

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26) Sew it up.

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27) Push the inside fabric back into the bag.

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28) And you did it! You made a makeup bag!

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I love this pattern because it’s so easy to tweak. Need a wider bottom? Cut bigger squares. Need a longer bag? Elongate the width. I use a pattern close to this for my extra small – large makeup bags in the shop, shaving just a little off the pattern as they go down in size so they are actually nesting bags.

Let me know if you have any questions, need anything clarified, or if you make one yourself! Thanks for reading!

Jingle Shell picture frame

I found this picture of my Gramma and Great Gramma after my Grandpa died. It’s one of my favorite pictures of them because it’s exactly how I remember them- smiling and happy and in the kitchen of the condo (where we lived when I was very little). It makes me think of going to Great Gramma’s in the summer so Dad could mow her lawn, only to find that she had already done it. Running around her back yard on Easter and shrieking at ear wigs. Summer cookouts at my Grandparents. That time my Great Gramma gave me hot mustard. Making play dough spaghetti at the table when Dad got home from work. When my parents had the kitchen tiled and we got to eat in the living room!

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But (obviously) this frame is a little worse for the wear. It’s tarnished and held together with elastics. I used to keep the picture out on a shelf, but it kept falling off and busting open. It needed a new frame. I got a cheap frame from Walmart, one that the back would definitely stay on. And on Easter, I collected jingle shells from one of my favorite beaches.

Jingle shells are these fragile, translucent shells that absolutely litter Little Harbor. Growing up, my Dad said they’re called jingle shells because if you fill your hands with them and shake them around they make a jingling noise. But he also made up a lot of names for things (a story for another day) so a Wikipedia search was in order. Turns out, jingle shells are an acceptable, and widely known name for them.

I got my shells, frame, and glue gun together and put a piece of paper down so I wouldn’t get glue all over my desk. Again.

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I decided to go with hot glue instead of E-6000 because it dries quickly and I wouldn’t have to worry about the shells sliding around (as I learned from my Glass Jar Upcycle project).

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It didn’t take long to cover the frame.

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And once I added a hook, I could add it to my wall!

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That’s my Gramma’s retirement announcement on the left, a baby picture of my Mom below, and a mini whale poster from my cousin in the bottom right. I keep my strong ladies in view of my work area :)

Do you have any craft projects going on? A wall devoted to the strong women in your family? Baby pictures of your Mom on display? I want to know about it!

Making Magnets

I have a friend who loves sugar skulls, so when I saw these buttons I knew she had to have them. But would she have a use for them? Or would she horde them for a special occasion, as I would do? I like giving functional gifts so I decided to turn them into magnets.

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I started with the buttons, some pliers, glue, and magnets.

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These are my favorite magnets to craft with because they are strong and polished and they don’t leave a residue. I’ve found that the black ones you find at most crafts stores can leave marks if they stay in one spot for too long- no thanks! They’re more expensive but totally worth it.

I started by cutting the button holes off the back.

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They were a little bumpy and I probably could have sanded them down smooth if I wanted to but I knew they would come out pretty flat with some glue underneath them.

I added a dollop of glue:

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And places the magnet over it:

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Uhm, SO EASY! I separated them to dry, giving them each their own corner of the paper to sit on. I’ve had too many instances where they were too close and snapped together, which is kind of messy and annoying. I let them dry over night before testing them on my own fridge :)

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A super easy and fun project for almost anyone! Happy crafting :)

Glass Jar Upcycle

A while ago, I shared a collection of Upcycled Glass Jar projects I made to inspire me to re-use my (now massive) collection of glass jars. Today, I’m going to share the process I took in turning a nacho cheese jar into a decorative candle holder.

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Supplies:

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– a jar
– clear drying glue
– a bowl full of beads

Let’s get started!

1) Cover a swatch of the jar with glue.

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2) Dip the glue patch into your beads. I actually scooped up a handful and pressed the jar into my hand because I was afraid of getting glue on my bowl.

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3) Repeat this process all the way around, and allow to dry.

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Once the glue is dry, plop a candle in there and light it up. It makes for a great little center piece!

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Now, I have to tell you. The glue I used was not quick dry. The beads actually slid down and I had to re-bead the top section of the jar.

 

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Dinosaur Pin Cushion DIY

I’ve been using the same pin cushion since I was a little kid. It’s blue and square and I made it with my Gramma when I was, maybe, 7 years old. It’s the only one I’ve ever used, and I’ve been reluctant to give it up because it holds so much sentimental value. But it’s 20 years old and wearing out. If I’m going to try to transition away from it, it’ll need a pretty awesome replacement.

Then I thought, “Dinosaurs are pretty cool. I’ve seen dinosaur pin cushions before. I bet I could figure that out.” So let’s make a dino pin cushion!

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Supplies:
– hollow, plastic dinosaur / animal ( got mine at Wal-Mart for a dollar)
– razor
– scrap fabric
– sewing machine
– stuffing
– something to tuck in fabric with, I used a letter opener.

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1) First, cut a square out of your animals back.

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2) Sew your scrap fabric together, leaving an opening to fill it with stuffing.

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3) Stuff it! You want it to be pretty full but still have a little give so you can tuck that opening closed and sew it up. Which leads us to the next step…

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4) Sewing it shut! Don’t worry about how neat it looks. You’ll be hiding this raw edge inside your animal.

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5) Stuff your little cushion into your animal. Be careful! Some of the plastic edges might be shark and I cut myself several times while trying to maneuver it in. You might also find that you have too much stuffing to work with and have to take a little bit out (that happened with one of the other ones I made).

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6) Tuck in the sides to make it look neat and pretty.

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And you’re done! Gift to a crafty friend or use it yourself.

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I think if I make more of these, I’ll try to cut the back pieces out at a bit of an angle, so there isn’t such a noticeable edge on them. I would also probably glue the cushion in, although these are packed so tightly it would be hard to pry them out.

I’ve got the Triceratops in use now (the transition is not a smooth one) and the elephant I passed along to a friend. But if anyone is interested in the Euoplocephalus let me know and I’ll mail him out to you!

Make your own “Chia” Head

This is one of my ALL TIME favorite projects! It’s super easy and fun for all ages. Are you a teacher? Make them in class! Are you an RA? Make them for a program!

Supplies:

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– soil
– grass seed
– nylon
– hot glue gun
– googly eyes
– fabric or puff paint

Let’s get started!

1) If your nylon is part of a tights set, cut off one leg to use. If it’s a knee high, just grab one. You don’t have to worry about it being too long right now because you can bunch up the excess to get to the toe of it.

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2) Sprinkle some grass seeds in bottom.  I used about a tablespoon.

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3) Fill it with dirt. I found that sticking the toe inside a beer glass and puling the excess around the glass helped hold it open while I poured in the dirt. Doing the project with a friend is also helpful, because they an hold it open for you. Find what works best for you!

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4) Shape it! Do you want a cone head or something close to a tennis ball?

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5) Pull the nylon as tight as you can around the dirt and tie off the end.

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And snip the extra. This part will be on the bottom of the head, and once it’s resting in a bowl you won’t be able to see it.

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6) Use hot glue to attach the eyes. Hot glue is ideal because it doesn’t take long to dry and it water resistant.

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7) Use your puff paint to give it a mouth.

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8) After the mouth has dried, soak the head in water for a few minutes. It might try to float to the top, so hold it under.

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9) Place your new friend in a sunny area and keep the soil moist.

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It took about a week and a half for mine to sprout, but now his hair is growing like a weed!

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These are so fun because they are so easy to personalize. Give it different sized eyes, freckles, a crazy mouth, a beard; the creative possibilities are nearly endless!

I hope this was easy to follow. If you have any questions, feel free to message me! And if you decide to make some of your own, please share them with me!


Kerry. 29. Central Mass. Maker. Fan of all things bright. Click to learn more!

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There is supposed to be a picture here.

Look, it's my mom! She's waving.


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