Dec 29, 2017 | DIY
Interesting fact about me: I don’t drink alcohol. Period. I have many reasons why, though one of the simplest to explain is that I hate the taste. I think the last time I even tried a tiny sip of alcohol was back in 2012 (peer pressure: not wanting to disappoint a neighbor who was begging me to try some saké she had just bought and I just didn’t feel comfortable saying no). But it’s just not something that I enjoy, and as a result I have to be super-picky at parties when there are alcoholic beverages around. So I’ve started playing with my own versions of alcoholic drinks – mocktails so to speak – to see if I could come up with some fun, festive nonalcoholic drinks that are just as delish (and I would argue even more so) than their alcoholic counterparts.
What is a Mocktail?
A mocktail is a “mock” cocktail – i.e., a cocktail without the alcohol. Perfect for those who don’t or can’t drink (and kids too!) it’s a great way to celebrate special occasions without feeling “left out.”
This particular mocktail takes a cue from a Fuzzy Navel (which I’ve never had) – but instead of orange juice it uses guava juice for sugary sweetness, tempered by lemon-lime soda to add some sour depth. The kids will love this drink because the presentation of it will make them feel oh-so-grownup…and the mocktail I staged for all these photos was promptly snapped up by my 12-year-old son the moment I was done (whose mouth was watering the whole time as he watched!).
Recipe for Nonalcoholic Sparkling Mocktail Holiday Drink
How to make the sparkling mocktail:
1. Pour colored sprinkles onto a plate wider than the rim of your glass.
2. Wet a paper towel generously, and wipe around the rim of the glass to moisten. Make sure you wipe up any water drips before the next step.
3. Turn the glass upside-down onto the plate, coating the rim with sprinkles. Turn right-side-up again and shake gently to get rid of any sprinkles that aren’t attached to the rim.
4. Use a measuring cup to mix the Sprite and guava juice in the right ratio. It may fizz a lot – and you may need to taste test to make sure you like the mix! More guava = sweeter, more Sprite = tangy-er.
5. Place a stirrer stick on top of the glass as a festive topper. (The kids will also like dunking it in the glass and licking the sweet juice off it!)
Celebrate your special occasion in sparkling, nonalcoholic style!
Jun 13, 2017 | DIY
This post contains affiliate links, wherein I make a small commission if you click through and buy something. My FTC Disclosure is here.
Lately there’s been a plethora of crafty accessories all over the stores. Colorful tassels, fringe, pompons, and embroidery evoke a 70’s Summer with an 80’s pop flair. This means that any wily DIY’er can easily create the look for less and craft up accessories that look fresh, fun, fantastic, and on-trend this Summer without breaking the bank.
Take this Loeffler Randall Tassel Pouch – a big, trendy investment at $225. (And now totally sold out – for good reason! Similar in beige with silver tassels here.)
Why not be inspired to create your own fun version at a fraction of the cost?
BUY – Original
Loeffler Randall Tassel Pouch, $225 (similar here)
DIY – Your Own Version
YOUNA Small Leather Crossbody Purse, $15.99
1/10yd Custume DIY Craft Leather Fringe Tassel trims, $0.99 per 1 yard piece
Loctite Vinyl, Fabric, and Plastic Adhesive, $10.50 for 2
Pick up some suede tassel trim from your local crafts, notions, or leather working store – or from eBay here. (At $0.99/yard – plus a little wait for shipping – eBay is definitely the most affordable options_though if you can buy local, go for it!) If you’re buying on eBay I recommend these colors from the seller to truly recreate the Loeffler Randall look: Yellow, Watermelon Red, Blue, Orange, Purple, Dark Purple, Pink, and Beige.
Use a plain black zip pouch as your base (or try my DIY Leather Laptop Sleeve to make from scratch – just add a zipper closure to the top instead of an elastic!)
Roll up the tassel trims, spreading some Loctite Adhesive at the base to hold the rolls. When you feel the roll is full enough, cut off the remainder. Allow to dry, holding closed with a piece of tape.
One dry, fan out the pompons (you may need to trim the end of the tassels shorter) and use a generous dab of Loctite on the base to secure to the pouch. If you’re worried about adhesion, a hand-stitch using black polyester waxed thread and a leather hand-sewing needle will secure those suckers on there!
Pair with some natural wedges, some washed skinny jeans, and a wrap top make of striped shirting – and you have yourself a foolproof day-to-night Summer outfit!
Apr 3, 2017 | DIY
I was beyond thrilled to be invited back to Oregon’s KATU Afternoon Live show last month – to demonstrate how to make these beautiful DIY gemstone-topped jewelry boxes (for Valentine’s Day…or any other gift-giving occasion really!)
Watch below as I demonstrate with host Tra-Renee how to make your own to rival those $45+ boxes you see at the home decor stores!
How to DIY Your Own Gemstone- (or Agate, or Geode) Topped Jewelry Box
DIY Supplies for Making Your Own Agate Jewelry Box That I Mentioned in the Video:
Gold Calligraphy Pen: this is the type I used
for painting the raw edges of the boxes; it creates a lovely metallic finish
you can use any kind as long as it’s clear, I used this one
and it’s never EVER coming off that box!
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
(for a glossy, resin-like finish): Michael’s, Jo-Ann Crafts, or online here
Feb 11, 2017 | DIY
In the past couple days I’ve shared some fun projects with Paper Mart and I wanted to combine them all into one round-up in case you missed any. Instead of the typical candy or chocolates, use your creativity and surprise your honey (or make some pretty decor!) with these ideas:
DIY Valentine’s Day Jeweled Wreath
DIY Valentine’s Day Labeled Glass Bottles
DIY Valentine’s Day Crepe Paper Peony Flowers
Thank you to Paper Mart for supplying the materials to make these projects!
Happy DIY’ing – and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Feb 10, 2017 | DIY
This project is in collaboration with Paper Mart.
I was provided supplies to create a Valentine’s Day tutorial. All opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here
No matter how beautiful real flowers are…sometimes you want something that can last forever…and can be the exact colors and style you’re looking for. I understand. We all want this.
Enter the DIY floral craft: the crepe paper peony, a pretty layered flower that can be any beautiful color scheme you wish…and will last no matter the occasion. For this tutorial I’ve teamed up with Paper Mart again to bring you a fun DIY right in time for Valentine’s Day. Here’s how to make it:
How to Make Your Own DIY Paper Flowers (Crepe Paper Peonies)
choose your favorite colors: ivory crepe paper / rose crepe paper / pink crepe paper / hot pink crepe paper / light green cloth-wrapped floral stem wire / round ball or ornament / scissors / hot glue & glue gun
1. Tear a long strip of crepe paper (perpendiular to the grain) along the top edge of one of the colored rolls of crepe paper. Tear another similar length from the white crepe paper.
2. Start rolling up the crepe paper into a bundle, folding back on itself and crumpling the folds here and there for a more natural look.
3. Use hot glue to glue down the folds into a roll.
4. Keep adding layers of white and colored crepe paper ripped edges until you have built up a nice thick roll.
5. Use scissors to snip the top edges and distress them.
6. Cut a long piece of colored crepe paper about 2″ wide, parallel to the grain.
7. Fold the paper on itself to create a stacked accordion.
8. Cut a petal shape in the stack, with the bottom of the petal at where the folds are in the stack.
9. Separate and spread each petal pair over a round ball, stretching and shaping the paper to the ball.
10. Glue the center roll to the middle of one of the rounded petal pairs you just made.
11. Glue another petal pair onto the bottom of that, at a 90-degree angle to the previous petals, and fold the petals up around the center, cupping it.
12. Keep gluing on more petals, making more from different colors of paper, and cupping around the center as you go.
13. For a more rounded shape, overlap slightly and glue the edges of petals together.
14. Cut small notches in the edges of the large petals to look like a real peony.
15. Cut a 1.5″ wide piece from the white crepe paper (parallel to the grain) like in Step 6, accordion fold it, and cut joined leaf-like shapes from it.
16. Glue the white leaf-like shapes in an X to the bottom of the flower.
17. Stab the floral wire into the center of the X, pushing through several layers deep into the flower center. Hot glue around the hole in the bottom to secure.
And you’re done!
These flowers are kind of fiddly to make, so I recommend having something to watch on TV whilst doing it…but the results are so satisfyingly worth it!
Pretty, unique to you, and everlasting…what’s not to love?
So some of you may also be wondering…why are we using crepe paper for this when regular paper could work just fine too?åÊ Well here’s why…
Why You Should Use Crepe Paper for Floral Crafts and Flower DIYs
Crepe paper lends itself really well to creating petals and leaves, because of its natural texture. If you look closely, although the petals of some flowers may appear smooth, many have a slightly wrinkled or puckered texture that is well-mimicked by the crinkles in crepe paper. Got a leaf or a petal with a a veiny, ribbed texture you want to recreate in a realistic floral craft? It’s very easy to duplicate using crepe paper…whereas a regular un-textured paper will look flat and unnatural compared to the real thing. The problem is that crepe paper can be too crinkly overall, so stretching the crepe paper out when making flower petals will produce a texture that is smooth, curved, and stretched out in one area, and tapering down to an area that is crinkled and puckered. This looks very realistic! (This technique works great for roses, plumeria, or peonies that have smoother petals, whereas stretching may not be necessary for daisies, cosmos, zinnias, or other varieties.) Try it sometime to see how much more realistic your fake flowers look when you use crepe paper for your floral crafts!
Feb 7, 2017 | DIY
This project is in collaboration with Paper Mart. I was provided supplies to create a Valentine’s Day tutorial. All opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here
There’s something about a suite of matching, pretty labels on all your toiletries…something high-end and chic-looking about lovely bottles all in a row. I’m a big fan of decanting product since it creates a consistent look and feel. Yet this was the first time I was using printable clear stickers in my inkjet printer…so I had a bit of a learning curve. In collaboration with Paper Mart, here’s how to make your own pretty bath product labels (for a Valentine’s Day gift or just for yourself!) with some printable adhesive sticker paper and a printer:
How to Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Printed Toiletry Bath Product Labels
glass bottles (these are a smaller size, good for gifts) bottle caps or dispenser pumps scissors printable clear sticker paper white eraser (not pictured) Krylon Preserve It! spray (not pictured) old newspapers or something to protect your surface (not pictured)
label template piece of plain paper (not pictured, optional) tape (not pictured, optional) rubbing alcohol and paper towels (not pictured) small funnel (not pictured)
1. Create your labels on the computer. I used these original templates from Creative Market, and customized them for this project. You can download the labels I created here – or use this version where you can type your own product names in Acrobat, Photoshop, or another graphics program.
2. Print out your labels on your inkjet printer. I found that my printer had A LOT of trouble feeding the clear sticker sheet through. I got past that by taping a piece of regular 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper to the back of the sticker sheet with a couple pieces of tape, and then the printer was able to grab it and feed it through. HOWEVER printing labels on an inkjet printer I found requires sealing the labels, or else the ink will run when it gets wet. More below. (You could also use this brand on a laser printer down at the print shop to get around this…or use this waterproof label paper here.)
3. I found that my inkjet had smeared the ink a little bit. I was able to clean that up with a white eraser, and scrubbing at the ink blots before the ink was completely dry.
4. At this point if you opted for printing in your inkjet printer, you will have to seal the labels so you can use the bottles in the bathroom (where they are bound to come in contact with moisture). Here is a tutorial for sealing with clear crayon, but I prefer to use Krylon Preserve It! spray. Lay the sticker paper, right side up, on some newspapers and give it a good spray according to the directions and allow to dry.
4. Cut out your labels, leaving a small amount of sticker sheet around the label edge.
5. Remove the sticker sheet backing. Clean the bottle surface with rubbing alcohol if you need to. Making sure your bottles are clean and dry, apply the labels to the front of the bottles.
6. If you purchase the dispenser pumps through Paper Mart, you’ll find they are a bit long for these bottles. Cut the straw shorter at a length that is long enough to touch the bottom of the bottle. (I made my straws long enough so they would be pushed up against the bottle bottom, and be slightly curved in order to fit.) Cut the straw on an angle, and round out the cut edges.
7. Pour your product into the bottles (you may need a small funnel) – and enjoy!
And that’s it!
These are super-cute as a gift (think a coordinating product suite, themed gift or spa basket, or even bottles for homemade body products!). Plus, they look great on the bathroom counter.
Oh, FYI – the rose petals are from here.
Happy DIY’ing – and Happy Valentine’s Day!