Category Archives: DIY


5 Home Keepsakes to Take When You Move

October 20, 2016

Leaving a home, even if you are moving to a better one, is not easy. Years of memories made within those walls can be hard to leave. When we sold our house, I definitely felt a little sad. We had 13 years of real life lived in that little house.  So many sweet memories, milestones, celebrations and hardships all lived out in those 1500 square feet.

I decided I wanted to make sure I made a few small mementos from our first home, so that I could take them with us to our new home. Today I’m sharing 5 ways to create a keepsake of a home.

House Portrait by MintedHouse Mementos

1. Frame a picture of your house, or even better have a custom, letterpress print made of your home. This gorgeous framed print with our home address, and the years we lived in it, is from Minted. I chose to do my Custom Letterpress House Art in a dark charcoal grey and had it frame in a matte brass. These are a great house warming gift as well, last year I had two friends buy their first homes, so I gave them each a print of their new homes.

Key keepsake box.

2. Personalize a little keepsake box with the key to your home. I glued our front door key to a little wood and marble box. Now when I see it on a shelf, I’m instantly taken but to our first home. It’s a subtle touch, but I nice reminder of a place we truly loved.

Key keepsake box. House Portrait by Minted

3. Bring along a favorite plant from your yard. We spent a lot of time in our yard, so I potted a little succulent from one of the flower beds. I also added our house numbers to the side of the pot, for a fun little detail. I used an old school label make and just stuck the adhesive numbers to pot.

DIY keepsake from your home to take with you when you move. DIY keepsakes of your home to take with you when you move.

4. Have family pictures taken in your home. Forget the park or a studio this year, and have a photographer come to your home and take candid pictures of your family in your own space.

DIY Keepsakes from your home to take with you when you move.

5. A Custom Map Art piece of your old neighborhood can be a fun memento to take to your new home. Minted has options in gold foil, letterpress and all your favorite colors.

This post was sponsored by Minted. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 



DIY Splatter Painted Pinch Pots

October 11, 2016


Lately I’ve been so busy  with house projects and assignments that keep me glued to my computer. I really have had no time to just be creative and make something with my hands. Messy making is just plain good for my soul. A brand that I use everyday in my home, method, encourages folks to FEAR NO MESS. So, we dove right in and got elbow deep into playing with clay.

I’ve been itching to take a ceramics class for a couple of years now. In college a took a very basic intro class, and ever since I’ve always wanted to find a way to explore that art a little further. So, while I don’t have access to a kiln or wheel yet, playing with a little air-dry clay is a nice alternative.  This last week my two youngest kiddos and I sat at the kitchen table for a couple of hours just played with clay. They made a whole variety of little figurines and tiny set of tea cups. I was less ambitious and decided to make a few little pinch pot bowls or dishes for holding jewelry or the change from your pocket.



Here’s what you’ll need:


Starting with a tennis ball sized amount of clay. Pinch the clay from the center out, shaping the sides of the bowl as you go. (Be sure to keep any clay that you are not working with sealed in plastic bag so that it doesn’t dry out.)

To smooth out cracks and imperfections, wet your finger tips in a little water and rub on the clay. I wanted my pieces to feel organic and handmade, so I purposefully kept them from being perfectly round and smooth.


Allow your pieces to dry at least 3-4 days. I live in the desert, so mine dried in about 3 days, but I could see a thicker piece of clay in a more humid climate needing a few more days.


There really is something very therapeutic about getting your hands just caked in clay. And when you done playing, clean up is a breeze. I’m a huge fan of method products. method believes that clean should smell like cucumbers, not chemicals, that’s why their non-toxic soaps come in 70+ great-smelling scents. The Lemon Mint Gel Hand Wash is one of my all time favorite scents. method products are so much more then just a great scent, they are biodegradable, made from recycled materials and are 100% recyclable! These are all things my High School Biology/Ecology teacher husband loves.


When the clay is completely dry, you can paint your pieces. I decided to stick with a bold black and white combo. I painted each piece with two coats of paint, allowing them to dry completely between each coat. And then I took the mess and step further and spatters painted them by flinging paint onto them with a loaded paint brush.


When the pieces are completely dry, they are ready to be used. I have a couple beside my bed for jewelry and a place to lay my watch at night.

(These dishes are not intended for food, they are only for decorative purposes.)


DIY / Entertain

Wild + Free Birthday Party

October 6, 2016

Wild and Free 5th Birthday Party

This last weekend we celebrated Olivia’s 5th birthday.  How is my baby 5? She’s a wild women and definitely has a free spirit, so I chose a sweet, boho camping themed party for her and called it Wild & Free. I’ll take any excuse to set up a teepee and play with flowers.

Wild & Free Boho Camping Birthday Party Dessert Table

I put my Cricut machine to work for this party. I cut 3D paper flowers, gold feathers for the paper cups and “Wild & Free” lettering for the little banner hanging on the teepee and also for the sign above the dessert table.

3D Paper Flowers


I was lucky to have my super talented mom in town the week before the party. She makes AMAZING cakes. She made the most adorable birch bark log cake with handmade sugar paste flowers for Olivia. I actually would have loved to have had this for my wedding cake. It turned out so cute.

Birch bark birthday cake with sugar past flowers. Wild & Free 5th Birthday Party

I think I’ve decided fresh flowers are so much better then balloons when it comes to decorating for a little girl’s party.  I played with some really fun colors and textures to create some wild and free arrangements. (House of Flowers, my local florist sourced all the gorgeous blooms and foliage for me.)

Peach and Pink Fall FloralsWild and Free Boho Teepee

Buffalo Check and Pink Flowers

I’m a huge fan of renting kid-sized tables and chairs for parties. Number 1 – they are stinkin adorable and number 2 – kids are more likely to actually sit down and eat in one spot (I’m always trying to reduce the mess situation).

Wild & Free Boho Camping Party Wild and Free Boho Camping Themed Birthday Party.Wild and Free Boho Camping Themed Birthday PartyWild and Free Birthday PartyArrow CookiesPeach and Pink Florals

This might be the cutest pinata I’ve ever made. And I’ve made a lot (between my 3 kids, I’ve thrown almost 30 themed birthday parties). I took a square box and cut down the sides to triangles and then taped them together. Then I fringed the whole thing and added simple gold triangles and a few paper flowers.

Teepee PinataWild and Free Birthday Party Olivia is 5

I kept the food pretty simple. On the dessert table we had cake, arrow sugar cookies, fruit skewers with arrowheads and the sweetest little macarons from De Coeur Bakeshop (they are Olivia’s all time favorite treat). And then I also made 3 different savory hand pies and a big veggies and dip tray. I made Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese, Creamy Chicken Taco, and Ham and Cheese (for the picky eaters) hand pies.

Painted Macarons

As part of their take-home treat, I set up a trail mix station. Guests could fill little baggies with all their favorite ingredients.

We also played “pass the parcel” and every decorated their own arrows and birch branch walking stick with feathers, yarn, and paint pens.

It was a really fun party. Often, by the time the party arrives, I’m just too tired to enjoy it. But, everyone was very relaxed and 5 year old really can entertain themselves quite well. So, I got to sit back and enjoy the festivities.

Trail mix station.


DIY / Style

Gifts Wrapped in Gifts

October 4, 2016

Before we know it, the gift giving season will be here. This year I’m on the hunt for gifts and gifts that I can wrap those gifts in.  Instead of wrapping paper, this year I want to wrap gifts in something that the recipient can actually use.


Gifts Wrapped in GiftsI’ve got 3 creative gift ideas, where the wrapping is part of the gift. Be sure to head over to Ehow today to see the the full how-tos.

For the home decorator – a throw pillow, a blanket and a design book.

Gift for the home decorator.

For the cook – hot pads, utensils and dish towels.

Gift for the cook.

And for the fashionista – a purse, a scarf and and bracelet.

Gift for the fashionista.

So, have you started thinking about Christmas gifts yet? I have, these are 3 gifts ready for 3 ladies in my life.


Fall Napkin Folding with Fresh Flowers

September 21, 2016

Napkin Folding for Fall

Now that Fall is here, all the outdoor dining and BBQs have to be brought inside. And I’m ok with that. I love setting a pretty table. Fancy folded cloth napkins instantly make a place setting feel special for your guests, especially when you add pretty fresh flowers.

I’m having fun playing with this pretty blush and camel combo. I want to try a new palette for Fall, browns and oranges seem overdone, I’m ready to try something new.

Now head over and check out the full how-to tutorial over on eHow today!

Pretty Napkin Folding with Fresh Flowers for FallFancy Napkin Folding for Fall


DIY Reversible Bandana Bag with Leather Straps

September 12, 2016

As a mom of three or maybe just being a women, I feel like I’ve just got so much stuff to get from point A to point B. A girl really can’t have too many bags, so I decided I needed a big, but still stylish tote for those days that require carrying more then just a purse. This DIY Reversible Bandana Bag with Leather Straps instantly makes whatever I’m wearing look so much more trendy. I’m loving bandanas these days, I’ve been wearing them tied around my neck and on the straps of my purse.

This is really a great beginner sewing project. Actually, everything I sew is super simple, straight-lines-only, sewing. I’ve got detailed step-by-step instructions to walk you through every step of this project. Be sure to check out the full how-to over on eHow!

DIY Reversible Bandana Bag with Leather Straps

I’m starting to think about the holidays already, and this might be a cute gift I could make for some of the ladies in my life. And with bandanas coming is every color under the rainbow, I could add a pop of color to the inside of some of the bags.

DIY Reversible Bandana Bag

So, are you loving the bandana trend? Does it feel too cowboy/country or maybe like you are a part of a gang? Well, usually I don’t feel very trendy, but I’m embracing this one whole heartedly. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of this here.

Be sure to check out the full tutorial HERE!


Add Style to Kitchen Linens with Cricut Gold

September 3, 2016

Add style to kitchen linens with the Cricut Gold for JoAnn

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I LOVE making cool, customized pieces for my home with my Cricut Explore Machine. It’s really my favorite crafting tool ever!

And do you remember when I got to design a whole bunch of fun projects for the Cricut Gold Machine for JoAnn? Well, if you don’t remember, I’m about to remind you – be sure to check out the Half Moon Wall HangingGeometric Patterned Edge Throw, these fabulous pillows, and also these fun Tropical Leaf NapkinsAdd style to kitchen linens with the Cricut Gold for JoAnnWhen we moved this last month and I unpacked our kitchen boxes, I realized that my kitchen linens had seen better days. My oven mitts, pot holders and dish towels were stained and just down right ugly. So, I decided to add a little style to our kitchen linens by customizing them with some of the modern geometric patterns I’d designed for the Cricut Gold Machine.
Add style to kitchen linens with the Cricut Gold for JoAnn

Using the metallic gold, glitter gold and white iron-on vinyl, I cut out a couple different sizes of this pattern. (And if you don’t own a Cricut, you can still use this awesome iron-on material and just cut out simple shapes with a pair of scissors.) And then I just ironed the patterns onto generic, inexpensive grey towels and oven mitts.

Now I’m drying dishes and grabbing pots in style!

Add style to kitchen linens with the Cricut Gold for JoAnn Add style to kitchen linens with the Cricut Gold for JoAnn Add style to kitchen linens with the Cricut Gold for JoAnn

This post is sponsored by Cricut, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


How-to Remove Wallpaper Without Harsh Chemicals

August 22, 2016

Well, I’m just about ready to tackle some more wallpaper in our house. It’s a messy job, but I think we have a pretty good system down. We opted to not use harsh chemicals or expensive steamers.  The sunroom wallpaper came off a lot easier then we thought it would. And those white walls make me VERY happy.How to remove wallpaper without harsh chemicals.Please don’t be tempted to paint over wallpaper. This is not a shortcut you want to take. You’re walls will look so much better if you strip all the wallpaper off and start with clean bare walls.

We did a little pinterest research and I followed Cyd of The Sweetest Occasion‘s dawn soap suggestion she shared on Snapchat.

So, here’s what worked for us.How to remove wallpaper without harsh chemicals. You’ll need:

Step 1:

Tape all the way around the room with the painter’s tape drop cloth. This is a messy, wet job. You will want to protect your floors.

Step 2:

Using the wallpaper scorer, run the scorer over all the walls. You do not want to apply a lot of pressure or you will damage the walls. Just move in a circular motion to create tiny holes all over the to remove wallpaperStep 3:

Mix one part dawn dish soap with 5 parts warm water in a spray bottle. Work on one wall at a time. Spray down the entire wall with the warm, soapy mixture. Be generous! And then allow the solution to sit on the walls for about 5 minutes.

*Warning* – Even though this is just soap and water, the smell is pretty strong and it kind of hurts your eyes. how to remove wallpaperStep 4:

Using a wallpaper scraper, begin to scrape away the soggy wallpaper. If some wallpaper is stubborn, spray down generously with more warm soapy to remove wallpaperStep 5:

As you begin to scrape, you will be able to peel off some bigger pieces of wallpaper.

Step 6:

Once all the wallpaper is removed, wipe down the walls well with a rag and warm water. Remember you have soaked the walls in soapy water, all the residue needs to be removed in order to prep for painting. You will need to wipe and rinse down the walls at least 3 or 4 times.Craftsman Sunroom MakeoverAnd now you can paint!!!! I know wallpaper is making a strong comeback, but this room feels so much bigger and brighter without busy, floral wallpaper. I do plan to add some wallpaper to a room or two in this house, but whether I paint or re-wallpaper, starting with clean, bare walls is definitely the first step.

Do you have some wallpaper removal tips or tricks? I’d love to hear what has worked for you.




DIY Bohemian Beach Towels

July 28, 2016

We are spending as much time as possible in pools, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. When it’s this hot, a swim is the best way to cool off. And if you are headed for a swim, a beach towel is a must. These DIY Boho Beach Towels were a lot of fun to make. I used $4 white towels from Target and dressed them up with some fun tie dying and a little tasseled trim.

Check out the full how-to on ehow today!

DIY boho beach towelDIY boho beach towel tie dye towel


DIY Corn on the Cob Holders

June 30, 2016

DIY Corn on the Cob Holders‘Tis the definitely the season for eating outdoors and cooking on the grill.  And corn on the cob is on the menu often at our house. Corn is one of those versatile foods that goes well with everything.  I love corn with hot sauce and Mexican cheese and also with fresh herbs and pestos, so I came up with a couple new favorites for this Summer – Parmesan Thyme and Coconut Curry (come back tomorrow for the recipes). And if you are going to drench corn in yummy, messy flavor, corn on the cute cob holders are a must.

_corn holders 10

If you are classy, you eat corn on the cob with cute little holders. So, I made some simple geometric holders to take our dining experience up a notch. I should note that I used non-food grade paint and glue on these holder, but technically the part of the corn you eat never touches the holders.  But, if you would rather be not use paint, I think these would look great just left in the natural wood coloring as well.

_west elm corn 16Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 inch wooden blocks (found at the craft store)
  • spray paint on craft pain in a couple of colors
  • 1 5/8″ painted steel nails
  • drill and 2 sizes of bits
  • E6000 glue

To start, you’ll want to paint the blocks.  I chose black, gold, white and left some natural wood._corn holders 9_corn holders 1Start by drilling, with the smaller drill bit, a hole in the center of half of the wooden blocks._corn holder 2Then attach the larger drill bit and drill just a short distance into the wooden block.  This is to create a space for the nail head to sit, so that is is flush with the surface of the block._corn holders 3Place a nail into the hole and make sure that the nail head sits flat. _corn holders 5Add a small amount of E6000 glue to the top of the block, where the nail head is and then adhere another wooden cube at a 45 degree angle.  Allow them to dry overnight._corn holders 6_corn holders 8

DIY Corn on the Cob HoldersBe sure to come back tomorrow for two yummy grilled corn on the cob recipes – Coconut Curry and Parmesan Thyme. DIY Corn on the Cob Holders