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DIY Hand Lettered Jewelry Tray

DIY Jewelry Tray

HELLO FRIENDS! I’m Katie, remember me???  Do you also remember when I said this was my favorite & easiest DIY of the summer, that would be on the blog?  Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you’d know that I said that…eight weeks ago.  I’m so sorry for the delay, and I hope you haven’t been holding your breath!  I took a little Lemons hiatus to focus on my day job and a few other things – but I’m back, and so excited to (finally) share this DIY with you! You will see that it is simple to complete, but looks very elegant and professional when it’s finished.  Your friends might not even believe you when you tell them you made it yourself!

For this craft, you will need a ceramic dish, shallow bowl, or mug, scissors, tape, a pencil, colorful (or not so colorful) oil based markers – I used Sharpies – and a good quote typed on a plain white sheet of paper. [Libations, music, and rooftop crafting session, “optional”]

Decorated Jewelry Tray Sharpies

Start by picking your ceramic item and your quote/text.  For once in my [indecisive creative-juice process] life, I knew exactly what I wanted to make, and exactly how I wanted it to look – although I did have some adorable alternative ideas…stay tuned for another post?? (Let us know in the comments section, or by following us on Instagram!)

I picked up a plain, white, ceramic appetizer plate on sale at Target, and used black and gold sharpies.  After deciding what I wanted to write on the tray, I typed/printed it out so that I could get started.  If you don’t find a font in your word processing program that you like, I’d suggest that you check out DaFont.com – it’s free, and has hundreds of cool choices.

Jewelry Organizer Sharpies

Once you have all of your supplies, it’s time for the magic trick that will make you seem like a crafting wizard – carbon copying.  It’s by far the EASIEST way to transfer a font to a surface – no complicated stencils or skillful freehand here!  Take the printed quote, turn it over, and scribble on the back of the paper with a pencil (only where the letters are).  Next, turn the paper over, and cut/tape it to your surface wherever you’d like the words to be. To make the transfer, outline the letters with the pencil by drawing over the print.  Peel the paper off, and voila!

Carbon Copy DIY Font Sharpies

Now that you’ve got your letters down, take your marker and get to work!  One point to make about oil based markers – they are a little fickle.  Make sure you use them according to package directions, and be prepared to be patient and allow time to dry before you do any touch ups.  Also, don’t press too hard, else you might take the marker off of the ceramic after you’ve put it on!

Sharpies on Ceramics

To finish my tray, I added a gold trim by outlining the rim.  Feel free to add any doodles or other images as you see fit!  I tried to follow a less-is-more mentality for this DIY, knowing that when it’s in use, most of the “hard work” I put into it would be covered.

I love this craft, and this quote.  It’s impressive, and motivational all in one.  I think something that Hayley and I have learned over the course of this past year of blogging is that there will be ups and downs and lefts when you want to right, and most if it will be out of your control, but if you love something or if you think you might love something and you just can’t stop thinking about what will happen if you try it, sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and just GO FOR IT.  Failures will happen and posts will be missed and life will get in the way, but nothing should stop you from following your dreams!  And let me tell you, we love this blog.  It’s a hodgepodge of our creative portfolios and current life interests, and it means the world to us that we get to share our dream with you.  [We especially love it when we interact with you all! Tell us everything! You’re likes, dislikes, what you want to see more and what you want to know about us…we’re open to it all!]

Emotional interlude over…better late than never, am I right?

P.S. A big shout out and THANK YOU to my PIC, Hayley, for holding down the fort while I was gone.  She is a creative genius, and also a wonderfully supportive friend.

Upcycle Jewelry Tray

Floral PomPom Pillowcase DIY

pom pom trim pillow cases

Pompom trim is probably the cutest crafting supply ever. Especially when it’s pink and attached to dainty floral. I have a whole stash of the stuff, so this past weekend I decided to put it to use and make some girly, springy pillow cases. I love the look of mixed florals, especially when the prints are small.

DIY pom pom and lace trim pillow case

Simple pillow cases are a really easy sewing project if you’re a beginner, since you only have to sew in straight lines. For one standard-sized pillow case, you will need about 1 1/4 yards of fabric, and roughly the same length of trim.

With your fabric folded in half (so that the fold is the long edge of the pillowcase) cut a piece that is about 20″ x 30″. To make it really easy, just trace around a regular pillowcase that you already have, but be sure to leave roughly 4 1/2 inches extra in length to create the “hem” around the pillow opening.

iron edge in

Open the folded fabric (it will be ~ 40″ x 34″ opened up) and iron a 1/2 inch fold along the edge where the pillow opening will be.

making pillow case hem

Then fold over another 4 inches, iron, and pin along the inside edge. With a straight stitch, sew along the inside edge, through all 3 layers of fabric.

Fold the the fabric back in half, with right sides of the fabric together, so that you have the standard pillowcase shape. Sew along the two open edges with about a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Trim off the excess fabric and turn right-side-out. (At this point, you can test the size of your pillowcase based on the pillows you will be using, and if you need to, adjust the seams a bit if the case is too large).

stitching pom pom trim onto pillow

Pin your chosen trim along the hem of the open end of the pillowcase. Carefully stitch all the way around. Depending on which trim you chose, you can use a straight or zigzag stitch here. The purple pompom trim shown in the above picture was quite flat, so I used a straight stitch, but the pink pompom trim was a bit more three dimensional, so I used a zigzag stitch over the edge for that one.

Pretty floral pillow DIY

I love having lots of different pillow cases around to mix up my bedding and make things feel fresh. Plus, who doesn’t like something customized!? Use them for yourself, or impress your guests with something that feels unique and special. Who’s ready for a summer sleepover!?

trimmed floral pillow cases
Show us your favorite fabric patterns and trimmings on Instagram with the hashtag #WTDWLemons ! Happy Spring!

DIY Running Stitch Throw Pillow

DIY running stitch pillow

I have really been loving the look of hand embroidery lately, and when I saw this cool throw pillow at Anthropologie I knew I wanted to make my own version for our house. Gotta love a good Anthro hack!

The DIY version takes a bit of time (think a good Netflix binge amount of time) but it couldn’t be easier! You really don’t need any embroidery or sewing experience to try this one, I even started with a ready-made pillow sham.

hand embroidered pillow

Start with a basic white or other solid colored pillow sham, some embroidery floss in cool colors and an embroidery needle. These kinds of needles are a little bit bigger than your typical sewing needle and have a larger eye.

running stitch

Start out by threading your needle and tying a double knot on the opposite end. Working from the inside of the pillow sham first, poke the needle up through the fabric near the seam.

You only need to learn one type of stitch for this project. It’s called the running stitch. Basically, you are just going down through the fabric and then coming back up again a short distance further. You can even make several stitches in a row and pull them all through at once as shown in the photo above. If you’ve never done this stitch before, you will get the hang of it really fast! Trust me.

running stitch embroidery

Continue with your running stitch until you reach the seam on the opposite end of your pillow sham, ending on the inside. Then cut about a 3 inch tail, separate the threads in the floss into two halves and tie a knot to secure. Trim off the excess.

Keep on stitching lines in the same fashion, changing colors and spacing as you like until you have covered the whole front of your sham. You can finish here or add some extra embellishment by tying on some yarn tassels or pompoms to the corners! I went with oversized blue tassels made in the same way as we showed you in this past post.

DIY tassel pillow

I stuffed my stitched sham with a down pillow insert to make it extra comfy. I love it on my favorite vintage pink chair!

Countdown Calendar

  DIY Countdown Calendar

I LOVE COUNTDOWNS!  Seriously.  I love calendars and organization and planning and lists and fonts, and countdowns are just an exciting way to put all of those things together.  I think that for me, it’s all about that feeling of anticipation.  I’m a serial daydreamer, and thinking about future adventures lets my imagination run wild and just gives me a serious case of the smiles.  I also think that countdowns have some serious mood boositing powers…they help feed into the “today might be tough but it’s one less day until that fun something you’ve been waiting for” attitude which was beyond needed this winter. It may be tough to get up that extra hour earlier for Dayligh Savings, but hey…only 74 more days until Memorial Day Weekend!

For this craft, you’ll need a frame – new, or recycled – chalkboard paint, acrylic paint, paint brushes, painter’s tape, a ruler or lined cutting board, and something to put in the frame. 

 old frame calendar

 

Start by creating a shape for your chalkboard on the glass of the frame using painter’s tape.  I made a rectangle in the top third of the glass, but you can put it anywhere you’d like.  I also had a lined quilter’s board that I used to keep my edges straight.

 Paint Chalkboard on Glass

 

Next, paint on the chalkboard paint accoriding to directions – remember my WTDW Chalkboard Paint post?  Take a peek back at how I painted on glass in that tutorial – it’s easy, I promise!

Paint Chalkboard on Glass Frame

While the paint is drying, play around with some fonts for “days,” which will be positioned under the chalkboard.  I hand drew my letters – re: DIY Calligraphy – but you can print them out too! 

Paint on Glass Frame Font

Once the paint is dry, peal back the tape, position the “days” lettering under the glass where you’d like to paint, and go for it!  Paint usint a small brush, and dont be afraid to put two coats on there…just have patience, and let it dry!

Reverse Trace Glass Letters

Paint letters on glass by tracing 

And while that’s drying, chose what background you want for your countdown!  I chose bright white/pink-red striped cardstock because it looks bold and reminds me of beach umbrellas – after all, my countdown is to MDW.  This is another reason why I love this craft – just like the changing numbers, you can also change the background!  Maybe you have a photo of a memory, a concert ticket, or something else that reminds you of the event you’re looking forward to. I love “anything goes” crafts!

   chalkboard paint on glass

What are you counting down to?  Tell us @whattodowithlemons on instagram!

Recycled Tin Candles

 

scented soy candles in recycled vintage tins

There’s no denying the cozy vibe that a few well-placed candles can bring to a room. I often feel the same way about cute vintage pieces. One of the items I am always on the lookout for when I’m on a thrift hunt are small, interesting, vintage tins. They’re usually pretty abundant at secondhand or antique stores, and always very cheap! There are tons of different uses for them: taming small collections, storing precious items, or even holding little plants! For this post, I used a few to put a cute and thrifty twist on a crafting classic, the homemade candle.

soy candle making supplies
You don’t need a ton of supplies to make candles at home, especially if you opt to use natural soy wax. The supplies are also surprisingly inexpensive if you buy in bulk. A 10 lb bag of soy wax flakes will cost you around $20 on Amazon. If you’re using recycled containers it averages out to around $2 – $3 a candle – that’s way cheaper than buying something similar in a retail store! Like I said, we’re getting thrifty today!

Candle making is a science, and I certainly do not profess to be an expert or even very experienced in candle making, but these simple soy candles are a great way to start experimenting!

The basic supplies:
– small metal tins
– soy wax flakes or pellets
– wicks long enough to fit your containers
– fragrance or essential oil of your choice

The other tools you will want to have handy are some scotch tape, a hole punch, a microwavable measuring cup, some scissors, and a disposable stirrer.

use scotch tape to steady wicks
Start by preparing your containers. First things first: give them a good wash and dry. Cut a few strips of scotch tape long enough to fit across the top of each tin, and punch a small hole in the center of each piece. Center a wick in each tin. If your container is on the larger side, or unevenly shaped, you should use multiple wicks, evenly spaced apart.

Use the tape to steady and hold each wick in place. You can also secure the wicks to the bottom with a small bit of wax or glue, but I found that if you are careful when pouring, this step isn’t strictly necessary.

making scented candles

You can melt the wax right in your kitchen microwave! Times will vary depending on how much wax you are melting at once and how strong your microwave is. Mine is a bit on the wimpy side, so it takes roughly three minutes on high to fully melt 2 cups of wax. Heat in intervals until the wax is just fully melted. If there are still a few chunks floating around, that’s hot enough, they will melt as you stir it.

Once melted, let the hot wax rest for a few minutes to cool down a bit, then add your fragrance oil. My favorite is a combination of vanilla and clove, I think it’s warm and wintery! Many sources will recommend about 1oz of fragrance per pound of wax, but I like to add a little more than this, since soy candles don’t have as strong of a scent as their paraffin counterparts. (Although soy wax is touted to be a cleaner and more sustainable alternative!) You can do a lot of your own experimenting with this step.

pouring soy candles

Arrange your tins on a flat surface in a space where you can leave them for a while. You don’t want to move them around while they are cooling. Gently pour the wax into each container until it reaches about 1/2 inch below the rim. Do the pouring indoors at room temperature so that the wax can cool and harden evenly. Now leave them alone until completely hardened! The time it takes can vary depending on the size of the container, but just be patient and err on the side of caution if you are tempted to move them.

Recycled tin soy candles

Too cute right? There are so many cool containers you can find for this project aside from a boring old glass jar. Katie is probably going to gasp when I say this, but… Mason jars are overrated! Take a look around your local thrift shop or even in your own pantry – pretty tea and spice jars are equally adorable, so are dainty teacups!

vintage tin candles DIY

This is a really fun creative project to do with friends! If you try your hand at making candles, share some pictures with us by using the hashtag #wtdwlemons

Recipe Wall Re-style

Recipe Wall Frames

I love all things handwritten. When you write something down, it becomes much more meaningful, because it is intentional.  It takes longer to write things out by hand, and might even be the second or third draft of a well thought-out idea or expression that now becomes permanent.  Recipes are no exception.  They stay relevant through time, and represent moments from the past that were chosen to be remembered.

Instead of old pictures, I decided to ornament our staircase wall with old, framed recipes, handwritten by members of my family through multiple generations.  In a way, the recipes represent the same things the photos do –  snapshots of family memories and special traditions – but in my opinion, are even more special as they represent more than a single moment.  They spark conversation, and sentiment, lasting longer than an instance, and reminding us of the personalities within the snapshots.  They are a time, place, person, taste, and smell – they are voices and styles written on paper for all to share. Framed Recipe Wall

I wanted these recipes to be functional, and framing them was the perfect way to protect them so that they can be used and not stored in boxes.  Some of the recipes that I had were double sided – these required a little creativity to properly display.  I took glass from two identical sized frames, placed the recipe in between the glass, and held the glass in place by wedging pieces of paper towel rolls within the frame grooves.

Double Sided Glass Recipe Frame

I tried a few different mediums for this – straws, plastic, scrap fabric – but the cardboard worked the best.  I cut a small piece of the cardboard, folded it in half, and placed it in the frame so that the folded edge was displayed.  The fold was pretty key in holding the glass in place, as it allowed the cardboard edges to expand within the frame and create just enough pressure against the glass.  Using cardboard also allows you to change the recipe card, or re-use the frame.

Framed Recipe Wall Staircase Before and After

What better place to display my recipes than my kitchen staircase?

 

3 Easy DIY Halloween Props

Halloween Party

Katie and I are both hosting Halloween Parties this year. On the same day in fact, but almost two hundred miles apart! I love a well-themed party, so I’ve been busy with a few fun projects to ramp up my Halloween décor this year. Today I’m going to share a few really easy DIY Halloween props that will make your holiday display EXTRA spooky!

1. Blood Dripping Candles

DIY bloody candles
These gruesome blood dripping candles are very dramatic, and extremely quick and easy to make! Great news for horror lovers. To make them, you’ll need two white stick candles and one red stick candle. Simply light the red candle and hold upside down over a propped up white candle. Allow the red wax to melt and drip down the top and sides of the white candle. The candle sticks I used are cheap glass holders from the dollar store that I painted with black and silver for a wrought iron look.

2. Painted Branch Centerpiece

DIY Halloween Centerpiece
You can make a creepy looking centerpiece to liven up your Halloween table scape with just some bare branches from your yard and a can of black spray paint! Select some dry, spindly looking branches and give them a coat of black spray paint. Then prop them up in a vase with some kind of filler like spanish moss or dried leaves. For added effect, throw in some cobwebs, plastic bones or spiders, and a dark creature hanging from the branches.

3. Poison Apothecary Bottles

DIY Halloween prop poison bottles
You can easily make your bar or mantle into Snape’s potions class with some deadly looking DIY poison bottles. Gather some empty bottles and jars in varying shapes and sizes and give them an aged look with some craft paint and Mod Podge. Vintage looking labels can be found all over the internet (there are tons on Pinterest!). I just printed and cut mine out, then roughed up the edges and glued them onto the bottles. Finish off with some corks, twine, or creepy crawlies.

What To Do With: Chalkboard Paint – in the Kitchen!

      What to do with Chalkboard Paint

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to better organize my kitchen.  My favorite way to stay organized is by writing things down, and as a DIY and crafting enthusiast, I make a pretty mean list.  I use different colors, pictures, and fonts to categorize and plan out how and when I’m going to execute all of my to-dos.  I’ll even include quotes for the day!  That being said, my lists can be pretty extensive and not very change-friendly.  What better way to write and draw things in a more dynamic and sustainable way than on a good ol’ chalkboard?  I had some chalkboard paint lying around and plenty of space in my kitchen, so I got to work.   Though I might not have stuck perfectly to my “kitchen organization” plan in all of my ideas, I’m so happy with my new, easy, and fun chalkboard additions!

When using chalkboard paint, it’s important to read and follow the instructions on the paint label.  Different brands and styles of paint may specify unique drying times and painting strategies – chalkboard paint is not a “dry to the touch, ok to use” type of medium.   With this type of project, if you don’t wait long enough between steps or you skip one, you might not be able to wipe the chalk off the board – nobody wants that.

For all of my projects, I applied one layer of chalkboard paint using a vertical stroke pattern, let it dry for one hour, then applied one layer of paint using a horizontal stroke pattern.  For the door and glasses, I repeated this process twice.  After painting each item, I waited 24 hours for the paint layers to be fully dry.  Next, I “cured” the chalkboard paint by lightly scribbling some chalk lines on the painted surfaces and blending the chalk with my fingers.  I waited another hour, then used a dry paper towel to gently erase the chalky blur – after that, all the chalkboards were finished, and I put them to use!

1) Kitchen Door Chalkboard

I love my kitchen door chalkboard.  When I painted the door, I thought I would use it for grocery lists, chore reminders, or other miscellaneous household needs.  Turns out, this door became the perfect vehicle to have the kitchen ready for every season, and mood.  This door often has congratulatory quotes, holiday pictures and greetings, and in this case, a Happy Birthday message for my roommate.  I particularly like it when we leave the chalk out when we are entertaining, and our “4th of July” themed board gets taken over by the creative minds of our guests – it’s always a funny surprise during morning clean-up.

The easiest part of this craft? Most doors have indented rectangles or raised edges along the outer part of the door, so you won’t need to measure any of your shapes to ensure they’re sides are straight and centered!

Kitchen Door Chalkboard Paint

2) Chalkboard Martini (or Wine) Glass Labels

I bought these martini glasses because they were HUGE and I love a good martini – plus, they were only $1 on clearance!  There are only a few people that frequent my apartment that like martinis.  Ok, there is only one person (aside from me) that is always in the martini-mood, and that’s my dad.  Fortunately for him, I got two glasses so we could both enjoy our drunks!  Unfortunately for me, they match, and because my dad and I drink identical cocktails it would be impossible to distinguish who’s is who’s when we are together.  Chalkboard paint to the rescue!  I painted the bottom and top of the base of the glasses, and left the stems unpainted.  Now, we can write our names (or the type of drink) on each glass to avoid any martini-mishaps.

Martini Glass Chalkboard Paint

3) Freezer Contents Chalkboard

When you cook for one, your freezer can be your biggest asset – so many bulk purchases and leftovers!  Every time I try and keep a tally of what’s in there, I end up with five or six different slips of paper with notes and no idea as to how they connect.  What’s even worse?  I end up just buying more of what I already had!  This project fixes everything.  I painted a scrap piece of wood and used velcro strips to mount it on the wall.  I can take the board down, update it, and stick it back on the wall – no more confusion!  I had to get at least one true “list” chalkboard in my kitchen, and this was a great way to do it.

Wooden Chalkboard Sign for Kitchen