My daughter loves butterflies, so today I decided to make a simple butterfly wall hanging for her based on this pin I found on Pinterest. I can’t find the origin of the pin as the link no longer works, so I just decided to create my own version and share it with you here.For the base of the wall hanging, I saved a cool stick Lillian found on one of our walks, which I think adds an extra personal touch. From there I cut out a few different butterfly shapes in three shades of pink to create a bit of an ombre look (I used my cricut to cut my butterflies, but you could do them by hand if you have more patience than me!). Other supplies I grabbed to use were string, little eyelets I had leftover from my DIY Jewelry Holder craft, double-sided tape, and scissors.I started by arranging my butterflies in a way I thought looked nice, and then I added little bitty pieces of the double-sided tape to the middle of the backs. Then I added different lengths of string to each set of butterflies before putting the eyelets in place on the stick.From there I just knotted the strings of butterflies to the respective eyelets, added two more eyelets on top of the stick, and tied a string on each of the top two eyelets for hanging the decoration up!For months we’ve been singing songs about butterflies, searching for them outdoors (or at Frederik Meijer Gardens when they were “in bloom”), and looking at them in pictures and books. We even did a cute butterfly hand print craft a few months ago, and I added some pretty butterfly stickers from our local craft store to the wall in her room, which I think actually look really nice (pictures below)! Now we have one more sweet little butterfly decoration for her room, and it was made completely with supplies I had on hand in less than an hour. I call that a win!Have you made any fun and easy decorations lately?
So last summer I decided I wanted to make a pretty floral letter “L” for Lillian’s room, and this spring I finally got around to making it! (Oh gosh, I guess that’s how projects go sometimes when you’re a new parent!) I decided I would try to approach this project in a similar fashion to the beautiful autumn wreath I made a few years ago (oh, and the pretty little wreath my niece and I made together!).
First I gathered my supplies: a foam letter “L” from the craft store, flowers from the dollar store, a glue gun and hot glue, scissors, floral wire cutters, craft paper and ribbon. Then I removed the flowers and some of the leaves from the stems using my wire cutters and scissors.
Originally I started wrapping the ribbon around my letter in the same way I did with the wreaths I made, but I became kind of impatient fast because it was harder to do on a letter than on a round wreath. It occurred to me that the front of the “L” would be covered in flowers, and you wouldn’t ever see ribbon on the back of the letter, anyway. Then I thought, why not just trace the letter onto paper and glue the paper on the back? And that’s what I did.
After getting the paper glued to the back of my letter, I made a general arrangement of where I wanted certain colors in bunches before I began to glue them on with my hot glue gun.
Then I added leaves to a few places in the arrangement, adding additional leaves all around the edges of the letter in case any foam was showing.
The back isn’t perfect, but who is going to see the back? I mean, you’re obviously seeing it now, but you get my point 😉 I used a picture hanging strip to on the back to attach the letter to the wall when I was finished (just like with my DIY jewelry holder.) And voila! A beautiful floral letter “L” for my sweet daughter’s room. This project only took me a little over an hour, and was so inexpensive and easy (especially when I decided not to mess with the ribbon!). Let me know if you try this project, and if you’ve made any other cool letter projects!
For many years I’ve kept my jewelry in a cosmetic travel bag. I think a big part of my reasoning was that I was always going to be moving again, so I didn’t want to bother with jewelry holders. Eventually though, enough was enough, and I decided it was finally time to pull my jewelry out of the travel bag. Inspired by a pricey (but super nice) jewelry holder, I decided to make my own. I went to the Salvation Army and bought an old $4.00 picture frame as my base. Then I bought some cup hooks, eyelets and cork board and got to work.
In the above supplies you can see my glue gun, but I was actually low on glue sticks after my air plant holder project, so I ended up using some wood glue and a staple gun for adhering the cork board. Other items I used that aren’t pictured were black paint, a paintbrush, round nose pliers and velcro damage-free hanging strips.
To start, I removed the backing from the frame and measured enough cork board to fill three spaces within the frame. I didn’t notice until after I added the cork to the frame that the cork board edges were visible when looking at the frame from certain angles. I wanted a cleaner look, so I ended up painting the edges black, something that might be easier to do beforehand if you decide to make something similar!I added cup hooks along the bottom of the frame for necklaces and bracelets, and added eyelets with some round nose pliers for hook earrings. Be careful to choose a thick frame if you make this project so the wood doesn’t split from the cup hooks. Mine split a little, but I just reinforced it with wood glue and painted it black. Once everything was in place, I added the velcro damage-free hanging strips to the back of my frame and put it on the wall. The last (and most exciting) step was adding my jewelry. I don’t have too many stud type earrings for the cork sections of the jewelry holder, so I might tuck a little picture of Lily in the middle cork section of the frame for now. I like the frame a solid black at the moment, but it could be fun to expand the project by changing the paint color or adding fun designs with washi tape. I love that this was an easy, inexpensive project that looks pretty nice. The best part is that I can finally see what jewelry I have and start wearing more of it again!
We have a really great picture window in our living room that lets sunlight pour in across the entire room. Despite the window looking directly out onto the highway, I love it, but I felt like I needed to add something to it. As I’ve already been adding lots of greenery around the house, I decided it was time to get my very first air plants.
As you may know, air plants can be pretty pricey, and if you add a container of any sort like drift wood or a ladle, etc., the price goes up even higher. Of course you can find your own drift wood or cool trinket to hold an air plant in, but I wanted something I already had access to without having to do a lot of searching. And then it came to me: baby food jars. I basically used scissors, a hot glue gun and glue, baby food jars and twine to make a pretty, gradated air plant display. You could follow the same steps with other small jars, too.
Start by measuring out a long piece of twine to hang your jar. I made three jars, so I measured three pieces at arms length to adjust and cut again later. Hot glue the end of one piece of the twine onto your jar. (I didn’t remove the icky sticky stuff on the base beforehand, but you’re welcome to if you have any residue on your jars!)
Next, wrap another piece of twine around the rim of the jar, hot gluing as you go. I did two layers of twine.
Clean up any stray hot glue strands and hang your pretty planter! I used slipknots on mine so that I could adjust the length, but you could also measure and cut. Rather than cut right at the slipknot, I left enough twine to curl down along side the other half. Then, I just added my air plants and–viola!
I loved this project because, aside from the air plants, I had everything I needed to make it right around the house. Plus, I think the jars turned out super cute and I am loving the extra greenery–especially on gloomy winter days!
Well looky what I found today at my local one hundred yen shop: two really cool books for artsy types! The one on the left is a book of postcards with two per page–one already colored for reference, and another that is blank for you to color. The one on the right is full of cute paper cutting templates, printed directly on patterned paper to use.
The paper cutting “book” has an added bonus: instructions in English! Above you can see a few examples along the edges of what you can make inside. I’m thinking I might actually make a bunch of the stencils into templates so that I can choose my favorite paper to use, and also so that I can make paper cuts I like multiple times. Can you believe this was only the equivalent of roughly $1!? I’ll update you with any projects I make using the book as inspiration.As for the “coloring book,” it too has instructions, including some tips on using colored pencils. This book is only in Japanese, but it’s pretty easy to get the gist from the pictures.
Here is an example of the setup of the book. I definitely think I will try coloring some of these in the future (there were also more books in the series with flowers!), but today I decided to use the book in a different way. Remember how one of my Spring Bucket List assignments was to decorate my kitchen? Well, I made my photo garland, but our kitchen still needed something more. I decided some of the pretty pre-colored postcards would be nice additions to my kitchen decor, so I set to work!
I chose my four favorite postcards from the collection and attached them to a lonely-looking wall in the kitchen.
After that I just added a border of craft tape (an idea similar to the washi tape frames I made for my cute living room gallery here), and viola! I’m thinking I might redo the border with actual washi tape eventually as I had to cut the thick craft tape in half and the unevenness might drive me crazy, but we’ll see.
So here’s how a big part of our kitchen is looking at the moment. My new artwork on the left, a rack hanging in the back for cooking utensils (since we have only one small drawer for them otherwise), a few cookbooks, a basket for oil, spices, etc., another basket for produce, our French Press, drying dishes, cards and pictures, and my little Matryoshka (don’t mind the dirty dishes in the sink *ehem*).
I have to admit that there was a plant where the Matryoshka are, but I sort of killed it by over watering it. I also have to admit that even though this part of our kitchen looks a little cluttered, I still think overall it’s pretty cute. (Especially with my easy, cheap DIY art (just 200 yen! *woot*)!)
I have a feeling more fun is to come from these two little hundred yen shop books. Have you found any inexpensive inspiration lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
I am so excited to share my most recent project with you: a super easy and fun photo garland! On my Spring Bucket List, one of my goals was to decorate my kitchen in my rental apartment, so making a photo garland was one of my first steps. Here’s how I did it!Step One: I printed a bunch of pictures, and then prepared washi tape, die cut stickers, photo envelopes and colorful clothespins. I chose to use FLAKY STICKERS for my die cut stickers, and pre-made photo envelopes from moodsnviews, both of which I got from a local craft store. You could use pretty much anything you like, and if you can’t find pre-made photo envelopes or colorful clothespins (though I’m sure you can because I remember seeing them even back home!), they would be easy enough the make yourself!Step Two: I chose my pictures and started playing around with where I wanted to put my die cuts and washi tape. Step Three: I hung up my beautiful work!
I am in love with this project! I can’t decide whether I like this project or my washi tape photo wall better, but both are certainly sprucing up our place! This project cost me less than $10 USD (less than 1000 yen), and took less than 45 minutes, but I am ready to enjoy it for a long time ahead!
Talk to you soon, lovelies!
My, my, my, am I ever feeling pleased with my little Monday night project. You see, before leaving for Japan, I had printed some photos and random prints to use for art journaling, but I never got around to using them. After arriving in Japan, I thought some of them would be fun to hang on the wall, but how could I do it in an apartment? After all, no holes are allowed in the wall, meaning we have to be careful about even using tacks. Plus tacks can be, well, tacky.
As I thought about my predicament, I suddenly remembered something I’d once stumbled upon on pinterest–a solution to my problem!So how did I hang my pictures, you ask? Washi tape.
And what about the frames for the pictures? Washi tape.
And what was the entire solution to my predicament? Washi tape. Look how fun the wall in our living room turned out! I absolutely love it, and plan to do a few more pictures throughout the apartment as well. (Don’t mind all the blankets–at the moment we’re sleeping in the living room, but as we acquire more furniture we will get things more and more situated!)
Things I loved about this project:
1. It was super inexpensive! I think I probably paid about 500 yen or less for all the washi tape? (So around $5.00 USD?)
2. It isn’t permanent, meaning I could test hang my pictures and easily move them around when I was working on the project, but also that in the future I can easily switch things up!
3. I got to decorate my apartment and see pictures of people I love while I did it. (Though we have more pictures of loved ones around the house as well!)
In the past when I lived in Japan, I had trouble with decorating our rental apartments, but I am happy to say that this time around I’m getting ideas to make our little place more homey every day. I’ve started a new pinterest board about living in smaller and/or more temporary places that is sure to start growing. Looking forward to sharing future posts about sprucing up our apartment, too!
Have you ever used washi tape for decorating? What are some fun ways you’ve decorated a temporary space?
Have a lovely week!
It’s already November 1st, and that means a few things: October flew by, the holiday season is on its way, and also our first Thrift Store Challenge is finished.You may remember a couple of weeks ago I started out the first challenge with the items above. I used the basket as a container for all of our mail because I couldn’t find anything that I could use that wasn’t super expensive. Although I haven’t gotten to it yet, I intend to transform the spice rack into an acrylic paint holder (I’ll post pictures when I make it!). And though I haven’t found an “upgrade” for the little clock yet, I did find a use for the Suntory Whiskey bottle and the big clock. I put a handmade paper flower in the whiskey bottle–easy and pretty!
Before: the big clock
When I first came upon this clunky hunk of a clock at the thrift store, I nearly passed it by. But once I took it on as part of the challenge, I got to thinking long and hard about what I could do with it and started to get excited about its potential. I decided, first of all, that I hated the look of the numbers, so I tried to sand them off.
Despite my best efforts, a faint outline of the numbers remained. I had gotten an idea to use the clock as a birth announcement for a baby with a space-themed room, but with the stubborn numbers remaining on the clock, I had to re-imagine my design. Inspired by vintage colors and some tattoo designs, I set to work with my wood burner. When I was satisfied, I used watered-down acrylic paint to fill in the planets, stars, numbers, and a little portion of the letters. I thought the numbers turned out looking much better than they did originally!
Next I stained the wood and let it dry before adding a glossy coat. All that was left was reassembling the clock pieces and getting a battery. I just loved hearing the satisfying tick of the clock when the project was finished. It was fun making something for a friend.
I really enjoyed hearing a few stories via email and Facebook about your approaches to last month’s challenge. This month, find something related to the kitchen and use it in a project. Bonus points: relate your project to Thanksgiving! The due date is December 1st, but please email me, post on instragram or twitter, or leave a comment with your ideas or questions in the meantime! And don’t forget to use the hashtag #littlesnailthriftchallenge!
When I was planning my Oktoberfest Party, I scoured the web for fun ideas. I was quite surprised that there wasn’t a whole lot out there for decor and party ideas, so I ended up figuring out a lot of it on my own. One fun idea I did come across was for beer mug pretzels, but I could only find a picture without instructions or more information. Thus, I bring you today: an easy tutorial!
You will need:
*Chocolate and White Chocolate Candy Coating
*White Pearl-Shaped Sprinkles
*Food ColoringStart out with a pound or so of chocolate candy coating (depending on how many beer mug pretzels you want to make). Melt the candy according to the directions, and then coat about 2/3 of each pretzel rod. Let the candy harden on parchment paper while you prepare your remaining ingredients.Next pour some of your sprinkles into a bowl so it’s easy to dip your pretzels, and break “handles” off of your mini pretzels. Then melt your white chocolate (you won’t need nearly as much white chocolate as you only put a little on the pretzels). Add food coloring until the “beer” is the color you like. Coat a small portion of the chocolate-covered end of your pretzel rods with the “beer,” and then dip the top in the white sprinkles to make foam. Lastly, add a mini pretzel handle, dipping the handle in a little of your “beer” to help it stay on if necessary.
Let your beer mug pretzels dry on parchment paper or upright in a cup, and then enjoy! I think these could be great for all kinds of parties–perhaps even a tailgating party! What are some of your fun party treat ideas?
P.S. I’ve started one of my thrift store challenge projects, and I am getting super excited! To give you a hint, it has involved a lot of sanding so far! Can’t wait to hear more about what you’ve been coming up with!
Hi everyone! I just got home from work, and from time to time when I’m walking home, I’ll stop by one of the local thrift stores to see if anything catches my eye. Today I stopped and ended up coming home with several fun items that I am super excited to transform. I have a few ideas rolling around already, but I was thinking it might be fun if YOU got involved in a thrift store challenge with me!
Here’s what I suggest: 1) Choose 3-5 items from your local thrift store, 2) Transform them or update them or find a new use for them, etc., and 3) leave a comment about your project and/or a link to your blog/pinterest/etc. that showcases your approach to the challenge in the comment section below by November 1st! Once the deadline passes, I’ll post some of my favorites in another Thrift Store Challenge post. We can keep it going monthly, and change the conditions of the challenge as we go (for example, next month perhaps we could all try to make something in particular!). Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Here’s what I’ll be working with:
Two clocks, a dirty old spice rack, an empty Suntory Whiskey bottle, and a rectangular basket. All of these items cost less than two dollars each.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you want to post about your project before November 1st, feel free to use the hashtag #littlesnailthriftchallenge on instagram, twitter, etc.!