Friday, July 27, 2012

Year of Memories

Here's a fantastic way to commemorate each year! Throughout the year, write down memories that make you smile. On New Year's Eve, open it up and reread all of the good stuff that made the year wonderful! Love this idea! Also, depending on what you write them on, you can make them into a journal or mini-book :)

Original Post found through inchmark.

Cork Stick

How many of us have multiple wine corks laying around the house or know someone who would give you theirs? This next idea is a great way to use the cords and make something beautiful out of them. It's cheap, fun and very useful. It's also a great idea to give someone as a gift! 

For this you only need 4 things! 
1. A yardstick
2. Press-in Picture hooks
3. About 50-55 corks (depending on size)
4. A hot glue gun or tacky glue (hot glue works best)

The rest of this is simple! 

First, add your picture hooks (you know the one's that go ^^^^^^^) to the back of the yardstick. They should simply just press into the back of it. I used 3 - one on top, in the middle and at the bottom. 

Next, begin glueing down the corks. Roughly 50 corks should fill the yardstick up. 

Finally, pin your favorite pictures, to-do lists, recipes and more on your new and fantastic, slim bulletin!!

DIY Kitchen Labels

This next post is from one of my FAVORITE blogs! The Painted Hive. They have the most adorable, homey ideas! Definitely a good go-to blog for wonderful ideas of all kinds.

To make this project come alive, there are a few necessary items before you can begin. 

1. You'll need "Magical Decal Coating Paper" - found here.
2. SLOM Jars - cheapest at IKEA

1. Images to transfer

Use anything you like. I made up my canister labels in Photoshop. I wanted them to be a bit different and quite typographic so decided to style them based on dictionary definitions (my artwork is attached as a free printable if you would like to use them!)

2. Inkjet printer
3. Decal Paper (blue watermark on back)
Decal paper comes in clear or white. I'm using the clear paper because I want a transparent background around my image.
4. Magic Paper (attached translucent protective paper)
5. Laminator
Basic laminators can be bought for around $20 from most office supply and department stores.
6. Scissors
7. Water
8. Soft cloth
9. Item to embellish
As already mentioned, I'm using my plain SLOM jars from IKEA.
10. Microwave, oven or hairdryer

1. Print your image onto the glossy side of your decal paper (DO NOT mirror your image) using an inkjet printer. Allow to dry thoroughly. I created my canister labels in Photoshop and have attached them below as a free printable if you would like to use them.

2. Separate the translucent protective paper from the magic paper. Do not throw the translucent paper away.

3. Place the magic paper gloss side up on your table. Lay the decal paper printed side down on top of the magic paper. Place the translucent protective paper gloss side down on top of the decal paper.

As my image took up the entire sheet of decal paper I did not need to trim around it first. If you are working with a smaller image you may wish to cut roughly around it with scissors.

4. Laminate your stack of three papers together on low speed and at low temperature.
Basic laminators can be bought for around $20 from most office supply and department stores.

5. Discard the translucent paper. Your decal paper and magic paper should now be fused together. Trim closely around your image - you can see it quite easily through the paper if you hold it up to the light.

Where there is no ink, the decal will leave a very fine, slightly translucent film which is visible close up or on certain angles. As my image is text alone with no border I experimented with techniques and found the neatest finish to be a nice even box (trying to mimic the outline of the text just looked messy). If your image has a distinct border then trim approximately 2mm all the way around it (leaving a small buffer ensures you get a good seal).

6. Dampen the back of the decal paper (watermarked side) with a cloth until it becomes translucent. Wait around 15 seconds then gently peel the paper away completely.
Important: ensure you remove the watermarked decal paper only at this stage.

7. Quickly immerse the decal in a shallow dish of water to dampen the other side then position it, image side down, on your item, smoothing it down with your fingers and a slightly damp cloth to remove excess water.

8. Carefully slide off the backing paper and manipulate the decal into its exact position then continue to smooth it until it is water and air bubble free (the image for step eight shows the transfer with some minor creases and bubbles. This is only because the photograph depicts the removal of the backing paper before I have smoothed the decal. Rest assured that it does flatten out completely).

9. Finally, set the decal by either:
- Baking in an electric oven for 8 minutes at 150 degrees celsius
- Cooking in a microwave for 5 minutes on low
- Blowing with a hairdryer for 5 - 10 minutes

10. Enjoy and marvel at your DIY accomplishment!!

Cleaning Calendar

Let's admit it...MOST women don't like to clean their houses and/or benefit from a cleaning schedule. I absolutely LOVE to clean anything from a car to a toilet. However, the following cleaning calendar has proven to be indispensable in the last couple of months. I clean quickly so I can throw on my ipod and get the daily list done in 10-15 minutes. It helps clear my mind and my soul as well as keep my house looking "ever ready" for a house guest. It's great! The original calendar is provided here.

DIY Cutting Bottles

This is genius! I'm always using wine bottles for different things - especially vases! I am always looking for a tool to help cut the glass so I can fit more flowers and coins as well as new ideas for utilizing these bottles! This just saved me so much time & money! The original post was provided by

Things you will need:
Cotton String
Acetone Nail Polish Remover
A match
A large pot of ice cold water
Step 1: 
Fill a pot with ice cold water and set to the side. Literally, ice cold.

Step 2: 
Wrap a (medium thickness) piece of cotton string around the wine bottle three times (wrap it around up to 6 times for a thicker bottle), tie it. 
Once the string is tied, slide it off the wine bottle.

Step 3: 
Soak the string in acetone based nail polish remover for 10 seconds

Step 4: 
Put the nail polish remover soaked string back around the bottle on the spot where you would like it to cut

Step 5: 
Using a match light just the string on fire, continually rotate the bottle in circles so that the fire spins around the bottle.  Keep rotating the bottle until the flames goes out.

Step 6:
Once the flame goes out, quickly submerge the bottle in a pot of ice cold water and watch it break!

Step 7: 

DIY Wall Art!

L.O.V.E. this one! Such an easy, inexpensive, fun way to decorate any room of the house! I love it more because using the trees around you, these pictures could be different depending on where you live in the U.S.A. A fun thing to do with this may be to collect leaves and make one of these for every place you've lived and then write the location you got those specific leaves from right on the canvas! 

See the original post here.

Make your own Glue!

Here's one amazing idea I saw on Pinterest! As a preschool teacher, we go through glue like it's money! This is a great alternative to buying multiple bottles of glue! Just buy the ingredients and triple or quadruple the amounts to make a classroom size quantity to use when refilling your glue!

Ingredients to use:

♥ Flour
♥ Sugar
♥ Water
♥ White vinegar
Combine flour and sugar in a saucepan (3:1 ratio). Add cold water to make a paste and beat out any lumps. Then stir constantly over a medium heat until the mixture thickens. Add one teaspoon of vinegar. Allow to cool before using. Store in an air-tight container. This glue will keep in a fridge for a couple of weeks or so. See the original blog post here.

Disclaimer: The glue recipe is great, perfect for papier mache, collage and the like. It's brilliant for kids of all ages to use either from a bottle or with a paint brush. However, it will take longer to dry than regular glue/paste. It's not mod podge though and really can't be compared to any commercial mod podge product. This glue however is very inexpensive to make and is completely natural! Yay!