Finch and Cotter: Personalized Gifts

Posted on

Good Morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a small business feature for you, and this is one that I just used myself to buy a gift and I was so thrilled that I had to share it with you all. Especially given that everything can be done online and not only that, but this business was started by a husband and wife team that employ a small team of employees.  You can check out their website here to see their full range of products, but they specialize in custom printed pillows, prints and maps, and I can tell you that what they offer is all reasonably priced and of quite a high quality.

Their personalized pillows are amazing they make it easy to create something custom and meaningful to you or your gift recipient. You choose from a gallery of templates for a design that will best suit what you’re looking for and you can give them your own information to fill in, or to add into the design.

You can personalize places, names, coordinates, lyrics, almost anything you like that is meaningful to you. And this trend travels across their full range of products.

Personally, I bought a star map of the night’s sky. You can select a particular date, time and place to be immortalized on your wall and they will produce it for you, framed if you desire, in custom colours, with custom details – I ordered mine without a grid on the sky, but including constellations.

What is even better, is you don’t have to just rely on your information being taken and processed correctly. Finch and Cotter will send you a proof so that you can OK your design before they create your beautiful piece. I know it made me feel very secure in my ordering and I appreciate the personal touch – this really screams small business  in the best possible way. If you pay a little extra, they’ll even gift wrap your gift for you.

Please check these guys out. They are so great, and their product is so sentimental and amazing, I just love it.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Marbled Phone Case

Posted on

Good Morning Crafthackers.

I have for you a neat little tutorial for making your own marbled phone case. This is a simple little DIY that would be great for teens or for helping you to accessorize your own phone. This is a great way to add your own subtle customization to your phone without breaking the bank while also being durable. You can use your favorite colours and make a number of different cases to switch out in the different seasons, if you’re the accessorizing type.  I’ve used this tutorial from Lovely Indeed, and feel free to peruse their other DIY projects as well.

 

Your materials and tools are simple. All you need for this DIY is a clear plastic phone case, nail polish in 3 different shades, a large bowl filled with water and a toothpick or paintbrush.

You need to start with a bowl of clean, room temperature water. When you start this project, you will need to work fast so that the polish doesn’t dry out too quickly, so read to the end of the tutorial before you begin.  You will want to have your nail polish ready and open and within arms reach. Take your first colour and use the nail polish brush to let a few drops drip onto the surface of the water. Drop from about an inch above the surface of the water as much higher will make the polish sink to the bottom of the bowl rather than sitting on the surface. It will begin spreading when it hits the water.

Use the same technique with your other colours, putting a few drops of each over top of the first colour in random spots. The colours should start to mingle and swirl around each other. Use a toothpick or the end of a paintbrush to swirl the colours together to create a marble effect in the water.

Hold your cell phone case – without your phone in it, of course – so that the outside of the case is face down towards the water’s surface. Gently touch it to the surface of the water so that the nail polish adheres to the case. You shouldn’t need to fully submerge it.

When the case is fully covered, remove it and let it dry. If you find there’s any water droplets that got captured under the nail polish, just lightly press on the areas that have a little bubble of water and help work it out towards the edge of the marble effect where you can absorb it with a piece of tissue.

Remember, you can use whatever colours you like. Just be aware that ones with heavy sparkles may sink. You can also do as many colours as you like, just keep in mind, too many may make the marbling just seem a little too messy. Hope you enjoyed!

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 

 


DIY Sugar Scrubs

Posted on

It’s the start of a new week, crafty people. Are you planning on trying anything new this week in your craft endeavors? Don’t forget to challenge yourselves. Try something you’ve never tried before. You might find a whole new hobby to take up more of your already dwindling time!

This week, I’d like to feature how to make your own sugar scrubs. In the next year, I set a goal for myself to try and use more natural things in my day to day life. One way to do this is homemade sugar scrubs. These are a great way to exfoliate your skin and some prefer sugar scrubs to salt scrubs as the granules are smaller and less abrasive. So if you have more sensitive skin, I would recommend sugar scrubs.

The basis of almost any sugar scrub is sugar and oil. General rule is 80% sugar, 20% oil. You can add essential oils for homeopathic and aromatic benefits but you don’t have to. Below, are a few basic & easy sugar scrub recipes.

Sweet Orange Sugar Scrub

Ingredients: 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup almond oil, & 7-8 drops of sweet orange essential oil.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, mix well and store in air-tight containers (bail or mason jars work best).

Cucumber Mint Sugar Scrub

Ingredients: 1 cup traditional white sugar, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 5 drops of peppermint essential oil, & 4 drops of cucumber essential oil

Directions: Melt coconut oil. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, mix well and store in air-tight containers (bail or mason jars work best).

Vanilla Lavendar Sugar Scrub

Ingredients: 1 cup traditional white sugar, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, & 5 drops lavendar essential oil.

Directions: Melt coconut oil. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, mix well and store in air-tight containers (bail or mason jars work best).

Honey & Brown Sugar Scrub

Ingredients: 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup almond oil, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, & 1 teaspoon pure raw honey.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, mix well and store in air-tight containers (bail or mason jars work best).

You can use other oils for the base. Olive oil works really well and jojoba oil can be a great benefit for your skin. Adding a little vitamin E is never a bad idea and can help fight against aging in your skin.

So the next time you want to feel a little sweet, add a sugar scrub to your shower.

~ScribeSarah~


DIY Stained Glass Votive Candle Holders

Posted on

Good morning, hacky friends! Happy start of the week to you all! I hope that you all had a restful weekend (but if it wasn’t restful, I hope it was at least productive).

By now, you all know how much I adore DIY projects and refurbishing things around the house. Well, this weekend, I decided to try out an idea to make your own stained glass votive candle holders. This is a very inexpensive way to decorate for whatever occasion you want. All you need are the following items:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Matte finish Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Glass Containers that hold votives
  • Paper Punches (optional)
  • Q-Tips (optional)

You can pick up glass containers that fit votive candles at any Dollar Tree. But look around your house too. You never know when and where you will find the perfect items to rehab.

First, you want to cut out your shapes from your tissue paper. You can use the scissors to make you own shapes or paper punches to save some time or if you want a more uniform look. Once you have those cut out, set them aside.

Next, scoop out a bit of the Mod Podge with your paintbrush. You can use school glue if you can’t get your hands on Mod Podge. Thin it out very slightly with some water (don’t add too much water or it will saturate your tissue paper, causing it to tear more easily). Place the tissue paper onto your glass and gently affix with the Mod Podge. Be patient and gentle brushing the Mod Podge on or your tissue paper will tear. Once you have your shapes affixed how you want, let the object dry completely.

The dried Mod Podge will give any portion of glass without tissue paper a frosted appearance. If you don’t like or want that, take a Q-Tip and some hot water and scrub the glass sections clean. of the Mod Podge.

Once complete, place a votive candle into the glass, light it and enjoy. You can make holiday specific ones or just everyday decoration. These also make great centerpieces for weddings and banquets. As projects go, this one was easy and inexpensive and thankfully, did not turn into a “Pinterest Fail.”

Enjoy!

~Scribe Sarah~


DIY: Seed Starters

Posted on

Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

In an effort to encourage the cold to go away, I’ve got a simple little tutorial for you that would be really nice as Valentine’s day gifts, wedding or shower favours, or just an I’m thinking of you gift. With the warm weather coming, and gifts of all types being needed for all kinds of different spring and summer celebrations, I thought this might be nice to post. The original post is from Hands Occupied, and is meant as a valentines day tutorial, but looking at it, there’s a lot of different ways you can decorate and manage these special little gifts.

You will need a few supplies: mini mason jars, rubbing alcohol, potting soil, coffee beans or small pebbles, glass adhesive or a stencil of your choice, glass paint, a stiff bristle paint brush, thread, scissors a hole punch and a spoon. You’ll also need the seeds to your favourite plant!


Use the rubbing alcohol to clean the jar and place your adhesive stencil if you’re going to use one.You can also just paint the glass freehand, add glitter, spray paint it, really whatever you like. The simplicity of the little hand painted heart is just so sweet.

Dab the glass paint over the stencil with the stiff brush until the stencil is completely filled. Let the paint dry before removing the stencil.

Cover the bottom of the jar with coffee beans or small pebbles – these will help with the drainage for the plants and seeds – nothing that grows likes to drown. Since there’s no holes in the bottom of the mason jar, this is an important step. Add potting soil to the jar and leave enough room for your seeds to be added and the extra soil they’ll need on top. Give your seeds some water (follow the directions on the seed packaging), but as a general rule, enough water so that the soil is moist  with a little water along the bottom with your beans.

Your last step is to cut a little card and attach it to your mason jar. If it’s for Valentine’s day, a little heart might be sweet. If it’s another event, think of a little vintage style tag. You may want to include how to take care of the seeds: Water regularly but not too much, keep in a warm, light filled area, remember to transplant to a bigger pot once they’ve sprouted.

These little beauties can make great little votive candle holders when the plant has been transplanted. Hope you enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Doorstops out of Concrete Patio Stones

Posted on

It’s Monday, my friends, and today we’re going to talk about doorstops. If you’re like me, you live in an older building and while they do have tons of character, they may also have one other thing; uneven rooms. Most of the doors in my apartment don’t stay open when I want them to. What’s a girl to do?

Well, a girl can go to any home improvement supply store and pick up a few concrete patio stones. You can use regular bricks as well, but I like the patio stones for the shape. Having the wider bottom lends to creating some fun and interesting little characters to hold open your doors for you. However, I feel obligated to point out to you that you can paint regular bricks to look like books, which is also super fun decor (at least if you are a book nerd like myself).

What else might a girl need for this little project? A girl will need some acrylic paints and sealer. I highly recommend getting a large bottle of them at a place like Blick Art Supplies or Michael’s as these bricks are pretty large and you will most likely need more than one coat of paint. A girl may also choose to have decorative items such as ribbons, scraps of fabric, googly eyes, and felt on hand as well. And finally a girl will need paint brushes in many varying sizes and a hot glue gun. (If making these for outdoor use, make sure to get outdoor paint and varnish.)

I will now stop talking like a Faceless Man and move on to describing all the fun things you might want to do with your concrete patio stones. Since they are so easy to make and don’t cost a fortune, you can potentially make one for every holiday! Below are examples of Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.

     

But you don’t just have to stick with holidays. Maybe you really really REALLY like chickens? Or dogs? Maybe you want something special for the door to your new baby’s nursery. Perhaps you live on a farm, or run a dog shelter, or a daycare? These three examples would work great!

     

To make these adorable decorations, start by washing your concrete patio stone with soap and water, then let it dry completely. This removes any dirt or dust that may prevent the paint from sticking to the stone. Once the stone is dry, paint on a layer of the sealer so that your paints don’t “soak” into the stone’s pores. Next, you’ll add your first coat of paint. Since the sealer isn’t going to block off those pores completely, this is why you may need multiple coats of paint for a nice, smooth finish. You don’t have to paint both sides of the stone but you can if you want to.

For your pattern, you can either use graphite paper to transfer a traced pattern onto your stone (you can even purchase patterns from sites like The Winfield Collection) or you can free-hand your own pattern onto the painted stone with a pencil (use light strokes!). Use your pattern to paint on the details for your doorstop. Faces, spots, hands and feet…whatever your pattern calls for that you don’t think you’ll use other mediums to depict. Example of other mediums; wooden cut-outs of hands and feet that can be affixed to the stone and give it more of a three-dimensional feel. Once all of that is dry, put another coat of your sealer on to protect the design. If you are using other mediums (such as those cut-outs or the googly eyes or pacifiers), use your hot glue gun to attach these items once the sealer is completely dry. And that, as they say, is that!

Baseball players, brides & grooms, cows, turtles, ducks, cats… you name it, you can probably paint a concrete patio stone to look like it. The heft of the stones makes them perfect for pretty much any door in your house (unless you live in a castle, like Hogwarts). As with most of my posts, these are great gifts for people as well. They’re functional and fun. They’re ‘fun’-ctional! (Get it? I know, I know… that was such a dad joke. My father would be proud.)

Happy painting, crafty people!

~Scribe Sarah~


Personalize Your Drinking

Posted on

I hope you are all enjoying a healthy and wonderful new year already. A few weeks ago, I did a fun little craft with my 4 year old niece. It was a gift to her parents, but I thought this was a fun and relatively easy way to personalize a cup, glass, or mug. How does this fit into your new fitness routine or eating healthy? Easy! I am currently cutting down on caffeine, but I still drink coffee (decaf) or even lower caffeine level teas. Or you can do a version on a glass for your water.

Supplies:
Whatever mug, cup, or glass you want to decorate
Acrylic paint (you can use one or more)
Medium or big point permanent markers
Duct tape or stickers
Foam paint brush- circular is good for dabbing, but to paint straight lines consider a flat rectangular brush
Clear spray paint that will stick to glass (if you are decorating a glass)

Directions:
You can do a few different things but the first step is to thoroughly clean the surface of the cup and ensure it is completely dry before starting. Next step is to place stickers or duct tape in a pattern or spell out something that you want to be on the cup. You can use sharpies to create a multicolor pattern of dots around the pattern or word(s) you made with stickers or the tape. If you chose to use paint, I’d highly recommend doing dabbing or painting of one color, let the paint dry, then do another color. When you’re all done with the paint or marking it all up and things are dried, peel off the duct tape and/or stickers.
Now, the key to ensuring a glass won’t have any issues with the paint coming off, I’d use clear spray paint that will adhere to glass. I found my can for less than $4 at Ace Hardware. It was quick drying but you’d want to have ideal temperatures and circulation of the air. However, you decide to decorate it, remember to just use your creativity.
When I started this project with my niece, it was right as I found out her dad doesn’t drink anything hot. So I adapted and bought a set of plain glasses to decorate. Her dad likes his soda and water and her mom drinks a lot of different kind of drinks so it was the easiest way to ensure the whole set of glasses were used. My niece was super neat but I’d still recommend if you have a child helping that an old set of clothes or a smock of some sort is used. I also covered the table with plastic bags to protect the table. I then had to improvise to ensure this didn’t become an epic fail. I let her do her thing so she did some dabbing then layered on paint in other areas. She wanted to paint the entire outside of the glass too. I let her roll knowing her parents would just use it as a semi-permanent art piece if necessary.


Then when I was dealing with peeling paint from the glass as I took stickers off. That was where going to Ace Hardware paid off for me. The biggest thing to remember, is you may want to primarily hand wash glasses. Or do a test run with a decorated one in the dishwasher before you use it in the dishwasher. It all worked out and my friends how things were done.


Miniature Magnetized Handmade Calendars (Year)

Posted on

Happy New Year, my crafty little friends! I hope that you all had a very fun and safe celebration to say farewell to 2017 and welcome in 2018. I raise a proverbial glass to new and exciting ventures for us all in the new year!

My extraordinarily brilliant and crafty mother provided me with this week’s blog post in the form of one of my stocking stuffers this year; a small magnetized calendar that she had made herself.

She had gotten the idea from a lady at her church. I though it was such a cute and easy thing, I have sort of reverse-engineered it to share with all of you. Since it is the first day of a new year, this calendar will come in quite handy and can be completely and totally customizable.

All you need is one of those 4×6 plastic picture frames with no border. If you can find one with a magnet already attached to the back, great! If not, you can also purchase strips of magnet with adhesive on one side and just stick it to the back of your frame yourself. You can find some on Amazon.com here. You will also want to have some card stock (white is preferable if you are planning to color and decorate each month but you can also use different colors for different months as well). Also have some markers or crayons or colored pencils (all of the above?) and, if you like that sort of thing, rubber stamps. Other items you can use to really make your calendar unique are stickers and washi tape…maybe even some thin felt or eco-glitter (if you, unlike me, don’t abhor glitter and how it gets all over EVERYTHING FOREVER). Just go the to craft store and look around, the options are endless.

Here is one adaptable part of your project. If you are tech savvy, you can play around with formatting and design of the calendar part on the bottom of each month’s card and then print them out. If you don’t want to fiddle around on the computer or you simply like working with your hands, you can use a ruler and hand-write the month and days into the bottom of the card. You get to decide how much effort and time you want to or can put into this. This adapting applies to the top part of your card as well. As you can see from my mom’s example, you can use the rubber stamps to give fun themes to your months and simply color those in.

You can also use stickers, draw pictures (or have your kids draw pictures!), put inspirational quotes on them, or even print or paste family photos on each month. The sky’s the limit!

Once you have your calendar and picture done, simply cut the card out to fit into your magnetized frame. (You can cut this out before decorating if you wish, it’s up to the creator’s preference.) You will need to make twelve cards total; one for each month of the year. It’s quick and easy to swap out at the change of each month.

These adorable calendars are great for use at home or in the office (the magnet should stick to most metal file cabinets) but they also make wonderful and useable gifts for others. You can make as many as you’d like and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can get a bigger sized frame and make larger ones. Recommendation though, don’t go above 5×7 as the frame and card stock inside it may be too heavy for the magnet to support. You can try gluing more than one magnet on the back of the frame if you want to try making an 8×10 but there is no guarantee that will help support the weight. But play with it, experiment, make the project your own!

May this fun craft help you keep track of all the busy days 2018 will surely bring us and may it also remind you daily of the simple and fun things we all can look forward to in life. Have a fruitful year, friends!

~Scribe Sarah~


DIY: Family Luminaries

Posted on

Hello all!

Happy Thursday to all you Crafthackers. If you are still scrambling for some last minute gifts for family members, I have a lovely solution for you and a tutorial from Our Best Bites! This is a really easy way to make some very touching gifts and I think that they’re just amazing.

So you will need a photo printer that can print onto vellum (most photo printers should do the trick) and you’ll need vellum to print onto. You can find vellum at craft stores and I’ve even found them at business supply stores as it’s what architects and designers use for drafting. You will also need some double sided tape. This is so easy and pretty, I love it.

You will also need a selection of vases or glass jars to use as the candle holders. Look for smooth, cylindrical jars that will be easier to wrap. You can use square ones but the photos won’t be quite as smooth.

So you need to print out your photos onto the vellum and trim them to the size of whatever glass you will be using. Landscape photos will work better as you’ll get the width to wrap them around the different jars. If you have a large one, however, keep in mind that you can use two photos to make up the difference.

Simply attach your photo to the glass (on the outside) with the double sided tape.  You can put these jars in windows to allow the photos to glow from the natural light, or you can put candles inside to light them from within. If you have some half used candles (probably best as a self gift, however), the light lower in the jar makes the luminaries look amazing, so you can also attach photos to these.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Gift Wrapping DIY style

Posted on

All week I have been just going over ideas trying to think of one way to help others repurpose something for gifts or what not since we are just a few days away from the big day.   I thought about wrapping paper and gift bags and how much I feel like I am throwing money away…quite literally.   That’s when it hit me.  How do your wrap presents with items that can be reused?  It may seem logical, but it was staring me in the face when it finally it me this morning.

There are many ways to wrap presents and most people will think of newspaper.  That would work.  I watch children of friends regularly so I am realizing with young ones, their books are often ripped up.  If you have those books still laying around, you may want to consider using some of those pages for wrapping depending on the size of pages and present.  Today, a friend posted even how to reuse maps from a map book.
 
The primary focus I had with my gifts were homemade.   So why not make a homemade reusable gift container.   What I started doing today was taking some mini and small wooden crates that you can easily find in a craft store.  My dollar store didn’t have them but the mini ones were less than a dollar at my craft store.   I then painted and decorated them with a holiday theme.   Some I am still working on and decided staining would fit better with the gift or the person’s decorating theme in their home.  I took the person and the gift into account when creating this crates.   I decorated with snowflakes on blue painted crates as well for those who aren’t all that into Christmas.
 
You see mason jars often with cookie mixes especially around this time.   That is a classic and you can always switch it up with hot chocolate mixes or anything.  I am also filling oven mitts for a few of those just starting their cooking adventures as adults filled with some kitchen essentials like spices.   I took some hot tea sachets (in the packaging) and put them in fleece socks.   I found some aloe infused socks to also include things for a pedicure.  Don’t be scared to think outside the box.
 
Have fun and enjoy the Holidays!