As someone who is finally starting to pay back on student loans, I have begun thinking about how to be more responsible with my money. Sure, I have the basic expenses, but this time of year, spending can become excessive. Decorating, baking, and gifts add up quickly to an astronomical total.
Of course there is an expectation to give gifts to those close to us, for example my parents, siblings, boyfriend, and best friend. And my sisters boyfriend and brothers girlfriend are both awesome people and I want to include them as well. But how do you give awesome gifts, while still being responsible?
Here are some cute DIY gifts I’ve found on Pinterest that I’m loving. And the best part is, they are truly gifts that I would love to receive myself.
First: Hand painted coffee/tea mugs. I love the simplicity of these mugs from Designmom.com. The white mugs with black writing will match anyone’s decor, however I like the idea of changing the black to a gold to make it more festive.
Second: This DIY Anthropology Hack Animal Jewelry Dish. I LOVE that you can use a plain plate, a decorated plate, a cheap plate from Good Will, you can pick the size, etc. AND you can pick whatever animal they like, and paint it all whatever color you want. It’s super easy, and very customizable.
I found the idea from a Buzzfeed article, but it seems simple enough to duplicate without instruction. Target or the Dollar Store are perfect spots to look for all different kinds of animals.
And last (that I’ve come across so far), is this adorable wine bottle, and 4 glass holder. My dad would have to help me with this one just a little bit, but it would be cute for a gift, include the wine! The post I saw this on is Home Talk, and I found the instructions there, but the picture said it’s from Down Home Inspirations.
Here’s the quick and dirty instructions:
- 1 x 8 board (you’ll only need 7 1/2 inches, so the smallest you can find at your store)
- saw (I used a miter saw, but a hand or jig saw could work if you have a steady hand)
- 5/8″ drill bit
- 1 1/2″ drill bit
- scroll saw or jig saw
1 1/4″ drill bit
What do you guys think? Good ideas? Do you have any other suggestions? Things that look like you’d want, and they’re worth keeping around?
I love Starbucks. Cliche #typicalwhitegirl I know. But I do. However, I hate the price tag, and almost always refuse to buy anything from there because of the cost. I’m always looking for ways to save money by making things at home, or cheaper alternatives.
So today I bring you an “at home” Pumpkin Spice Latte. While researching I found out the weirdest thing – there’s no actual pumpkin in Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte (thanks Rachloves). So, I decided to find a recipe that included some real (canned) pumpkin. Here’s the best recipe I found, and I give all the credit to Rachloves on Youtube, because I tried a few recipes, and hers was definitely the best:
Heat up the following ingredients on the stovetop:
- 2 Tbs Pumpkin puree
- 1 T Brown sugar
- 1/2 T Maple Syrup (real stuff)
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
When it’s fairly caramelized, stir in:
- 1/3 c flavored coffee creamer (pumpkin spice or caramel are my recommendations)
- 1 – 1 1/2 c milk
Stir again. Then put in the blender and blend (love my Nutribullet for this).
This makes a decent amount of the mixture, so it’ll last for a couple days, depending on how much you pour into your coffee.
Now, make a cup of coffee, I love using the pumpkin spice flavored coffee. Pour as much of the pumpkin spice mixture into your coffee, and stir to combine. If you want, top it off with some whipped cream, and maybe some caramel syrup.
I saw an adorable gold sequined initial for sale on Etsy, for like $30. And the DIY-er and frugal person inside my head said, “Hey, I can do that!” So here’s my attempt, and some suggestions on how I would do it differently next time.
DIY Sequin Initial/Letter:
- Hot Glue Gun
- Cardboard/Wooden Initial
- Sequins of your color choice – Here’s where I would change what I did. I bought a sequin ribbon type thing, which worked, but it was very expensive (I did use a coupon though), and didn’t come with that much. The letter I go was maybe 8″ high and I could’ve easily used 2 of the sequin ribbons I bought. So next time I’d either (a) buy 2, or (b) possibly buy loose sequins that are cheaper, but would be more time consuming to attach.
From there it’s simple – hot glue the sequin ribbon onto the letter. I stretched the ribbon quite a bit, and tried as best as I could to wrap around the edges so when it was hung on the wall there weren’t any bare spots.
I literally glued a straight line onto the letter, then stuck the sequins to it. Only burned my fingers a couple times!
It’s that easy! I ran out of sequins before I was completely done, but it’s covered well enough that from the middle of the room you can’t even tell – you’d have to get up nice and close to notice (one good thing about a tan cardboard letter vs. a black or white wooden letter).
To go along with the DIY Kate Spade Inspired Canvas I made (see post here!) I also created a gold, glitter deer head silhouette canvas. I did this mostly because it will still look cute as a Christmas decoration in M’s house (super manly and hunting-cabin-esque), and in my room, which is wooden, white, green and gold.
I was going to do a full DIY post on this project, but it was so simple, I figured an outline to follow would work just as well. Also, I was using glue that was drying quickly so I didn’t have time for too many artsy pictures.
- Canvas (mine was 16×30 or something like that)
- Glue (I used elmers liquid glue, but mod podge would probably be great for this)
- Glitter (I bought a decent sized bottle for $2.99 at Michael’s, and barely ended up using any)
- Stencil of your design choice (I used a deer head)
The clip art outline of a deer head that I found (thank you Google) was only 8.5×11, and looked to small on my canvas. I did a quick Google search instead of image search, and found a blog that actually made a very similar project (this is a very popular thing to make). Here is her blog post. She sounds like someone I would be friends with, so I read the whole post and found her recommendation for using Blockposters.com which allows you to upload a file and then choose how big you want to make it. It then prints it onto x number of pieces of paper and you just tape together and go. This wasn’t the best site for me because the options only go by pages (vs inches), and 2×2 pages was WAY too big for my canvas. So what I ended up doing was setting it for 1×2 pages, but 2 landscape pieces of paper on top of each other, and it was big enough. Sorry, that was complicated.
Anyways, I printed out my outline, cut it out, and then traced it onto my canvas. I then painted the entire inside of the silhouette with glue. Finally, I dumped my gold glitter all over it, and then shook off the extra. That’s all there was to it! I let it dry outside for a few hours, and then brought it in and hung it up!
What do you think?
I found this adorable canvas on Pinterest (which links to this blog), and figured it’d be an easy and straightforward DIY I could do. She used a 2″ hold punch, and a slightly larger canvas, and it looks great. However, I wanted a smaller sized project because I have an idea for a trio of art pieces to hang in a certain area, so here’s what I did:
I used a foam poster board for my backing because that’s what I had laying around my house. I cut it to a 16″x16″ square, to make the dimensions match another project I’m working on.
I bought the circle punch at Michael’s ($8.99 I think), and they also had a few different sizes. The scrapbook paper was also from Michael’s ($1.99 each). I always go into a store like this with coupons, and never pay full price for anything.
I then followed the Pinterest picture as a guideline, and punched approximately 35 circles from the shiny gold paper (basically went around the outside fully punching circles), and punched roughly 12 of the glitter paper.
I then randomly arranged the circles on the canvas to my liking, and then glued them all down using liquid elmer’s glue.
It’s as simple as that! Some of the circles curled up around the edges, so while it was drying I left some heavier books on top of them to keep them flat.
Here’s the finished project!
It’s DIY time over here! I am addicted to Pinterest, and I love finding cute, adorable DIYs that I can do. They make things unique and add a personal touch to your wardrobe, or room.
While browsing Pinterest, I came across this picture of a super cute scarf, with the description “Arm Knit Scarf, Tutorial.” When I followed the link it led me to Small Home Big Start’s “Friday Favorites” post. From there I finally got to the basic tutorial for the cowl, from Simply Maggie. Simply Maggie has an awesome video tutorial, and between that, and my sister’s knitting experience, I got started. I have NEVER knit in my life, but I must say, arm knitting, (meaning on a bigger scale), seems easy to me.
What I used:
- 3 Skeins of Lion Brand Yarn, super bulky weight, in the color (Hometown USA) Dallas Grey. I love this yarn because it’s made in the USA. I used 2 skeins for the scarf itself, and one for the button piece. There was tons left over from that, but not enough left over from the scarf to do that piece.
- Button – found at JoAnn Fabric. Just picked one that I liked – happened to be a similar color and texture to the one in the picture from Simplymaggie
- We also used a large round knitting needle, and a needle and thread for the button section
I cast on 12 stitches, and then just went for it. Once I got the hang of it, it moved along quickly. I think part of the key is to keep the stitches snug around your wrist, and continue to maintain a consistent tension throughout the process. The beginning of my scarf is definitely looser than the ending side – my skills improved quickly with practice!
Here’s a look at the scarf stretched out during the knitting process. I love that it looks like a fishing net in a way. When I finished knitting (I used 2 full skeins of “super chunky” yarn), I cast off, and then “sewed” the ends together to create an infinity scarf.
While I was working, my knitting-pro sister made this adorable feature (as seen in the photo above). It’s a simple step – if you know how to knit; but adds so much personality to the scarf. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell you how she made this, what needles she used, or anything.
And the final product! I love how thick and chunky it is, but there’s still a lot of space for air to flow where it doesn’t keep you TOO warm. The perfect scarf to layer over a longsleeve shirt, like a henley in the fall months!
What do you guys think?
What other arm knitting projects should I try? I think I want to make a throw for the couch next using this tutorial and yarn (again from simplemaggie). I just found her site but I LOVE the stuff she creates!