Monday, March 19, 2018

Shop Update: Easter Floral Arrangements

Monday, March 19, 2018 43 Comments
I've been crafting like a manic!

Well, it is National Craft Month... so I should be crafting right? :-)

This time I spent the weekend making a few new items to upload to the Etsy Shopk, so I wanted to share a few of my projects!  The ones I'm going to show today are all about Easter, because it's coming up sooner than I realized!

I finally sat down and used up some of the stuff I had laying around since last Easter!  And I made a huge mess. :-P

This is also kind of a sneak peak of my new craft room too. :-)

These little wooden grass boxes came from the trash at my old job.  They were used as a display, and a new one was sent with each shipment, so the old ones were usually thrown out.  So with permission I started collecting them...because they were cute darn it, and I knew I could do something with them at some point.

I ended the day with 6 cute little arrangements. I kept one for my mantle. :-)

I think this one is my favorite, but they all turned out really cute I think.  I was really happy with them and they were super fun to make!

All 6 are up in the shop now, and ready to ship in time for Easter!  If you'd like one, you better snag it up fast so there's time for it to arrive and enjoy. :-)
Mine's on my mantle, but I think they'd be cute in an office or on a small entryway table too.  I really love how they turned out <3

So what do you think?  How do you decorate for Easter?

Want to see more posts from National Craft Month?  Check out the list here!

Friday, March 16, 2018

How To Make Easy Recycled Can Planters

Friday, March 16, 2018 36 Comments
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Check out my Affiliate Disclaimer for more info)

It's been snowing here in Kentucky, and it's really getting me down.  It's certainly been a lovely sight, but I'm ready for spring darn it!  The sunshine and warmth from last week was such a tease!

With more snow and rain in the coming weeks, I plan on spending time trying to clean up my computer and organize my computer files.  Not usually what you'd start with to start spring cleaning, but it's definitely something that needs done!  

While going through some photos today, I found a ton of old projects that I want to share.  And since I'm longing for spring, this one seemed like the perfect one to start with!  

I used to use tin cans all around my house for various things, and they're great!  Especially with just a little bit of paper and Mod Podge to make them cute!  They make great pencil holders, craft room organizers, drawer organizers, and even planters!

How to Make a Tin Can Planter

I didn't photograph my progress with these...but I think I can explain it easily enough.  This is a super simple project that requires very few things.  It'd be a great spring project for kids too I think!


  • Old Tin Cans, washed out and labels removed
  • Decorative Paper
  • Scissors
  • Outdoor Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush or Old Paint Brush 
  • Dirt and Flowers


  1. Carefully remove your can's label.  If you can get it off relatively cleanly, you can use it to trace on the decorative paper.
  2. Clean out your cans and let them dry. 
  3. Use your label to cut out your decorative paper to size.  If you couldn't get the label off cleanly, measure the height of the can and cut a strip to match the size.
  4. Grab your Mod Podge and slather it on the back of that paper with a foam brush or an old brush you don't mind covering in glue.
  5. Wrap the paper around the can and smooth out air bubbles.  I held the paper together at the seam until the Mod Podge dried enough to stay put.
  6. After your glue dries, grab your Outdoor Mod Podge and paint a protective coat or two on top of the paper. 

Outdoor Mod Podge is important in this project if you're going to put these outside.  It's formulated to not fade in the sun.  The first time I did this I didn't use the Outdoor formula and my cans faded in a week. :-(  So yes, use the Outdoor Podge for this one. :-)

These were my cans after Mod Podging.  All that was left was to add dirt!

If you want, you can drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of the can before adding your dirt and plants.  I didn't because I knew I was going to repot my petunias after they outgrew the cans, but it is something to think about if you use a plant that can stay in the cans for awhile!

And here they are popped up on the window sill of my old apartment.  They looked so cute on there and added so much color!  And they were so fast, cheap, and easy to make!

Are you excited for Spring?  

Want to see more posts from National Craft Month?  Check out the list here!

Monday, March 12, 2018

How To: Build a Basic Do-It-Yourself Starter Kit for Ladies

Monday, March 12, 2018 53 Comments
(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Check out my Affiliate Disclaimer for more info)

Alright ladies, this one's for you!

I remember getting really discouraged while in my sculpture class in college after using a bunch of heavy, old, and not really meant to be used by small people tools.  It was frustrating that it seemed every power tool in the world (and in the 70s, in the case of my school) was built only to be used by huge, burly guys, and therefore my tiny hands and injury-weakened arm had a lot of trouble with them.  Being someone who had always wanted to build things, it was really discouraging!

Luckily though, tools of today have kept up with the times.  They're smaller, more efficient, and much easier for everyone to use.  And with the surge of DIY projects roaming around Pinterest, I thought it might be helpful to help my fellow DIY ladies start their tool kits!

These were all the tools I used to get started, and most likely the ones you'll use the most on several DIYs.  All of the power tools are relatively inexpensive and very user friendly, making them the perfect starter tools.  Everything else is useful goodies that you may not think about until you need them!

Ready to get started?

1) Hammer

Simple, but a good starting point.  You probably already have this, but if you don't go get one now.  Or two!   

2) Stud Finder

If you ever need to hang up something heavier than a small picture, you'll probably need to hang it in a stud.  Drywall can't hold much, even with anchors, so all heavy stuff like shelves should be mounted securely in a wall stud so you don't damage your walls.  In order to do that, you need to be able to find one!

You don't need a super fancy stud finder starting out, so the simple one listed first is fine.  It's the same one I have and it works perfectly!  They also make fancier ones that detect all kinds of things hidden in the walls, so shop around for one that does all the things you need.

3) Drill Driver

If you're going to buy an expensive tool, make it this one.  I drill driver drills holes and screws in screws, and if you're going to have a few DIY projects you'll be using it a lot.  I use mine almost everyday!

Don't bother with a corded one.  They have a bit more power, but that cord is super limiting.  That mobility is worth the extra money to buy a strong battery operated one.  I have a 20 Volt Craftsman right now, which I couldn't find on amazon, but I've used all of the ones below and they're great.  Just remember, the higher the voltage the more power it has, so opt for a larger number.  Also, get a good set of drill bits and screw bits and you'll be ready for just about any project!  

4) Palm Sander

Do you have a piece of furniture to redo?  Need to get rid of old cabinet paint?  You need to sand it.  Sure, you could do that with sandpaper and a ton of elbow grease, but there's a much easier way.

Palm Sanders are small electric sanders that will change your DIY life if you've never used one!  I bought one years ago just for sanding down a table, and I've used it for a million other projects since.  Corded is fine, but I'll probably upgrade to a cordless one soon to have more mobility.

The important thing to remember when picked out a sander is how it feels in your hand.  You'll be holding it for awhile while working, so make sure it's comfy to hold!  I have a 9 year old version of the first one on this list, and it feels comfortable in my small girly hands, so I can recommend it if you have dainty hands like mine. :-) 

Sander Tips:

  • The type of sander you get will determine what type of sandpaper it uses.  There are tons of different sizes that fit different units, so make sure you get the right stuff!
  • Wear a dust mask, especially if you're sanding old paint! You don't want to breathe in that stuff!

5) Jigsaw

Don't let the idea of a saw freak you out.  They're necessary in many DIY projects!  Most projects requiring cutting will suggest a table saw, which is a big investment for a beginner, or a circular saw.

Circular saws are more useful for straight cuts and longer cuts, making it important if you're cutting a table top, large pieces of lumber, or things of that nature.  The only problem with circular saws, at least for me, is that they are heavy!  Like, really heavy!  I've always had a hard time using one.  Which is why for this guide in particular the saw I chose was a jigsaw.

A Jigsaw is smaller saw with a small blade that can make shaped cuts, making it a good starter saw for the basic do it yourself-er.  Cutting neat shapes out of wood isn't all it can do though.  I've used mine in the past for straight cuts too.  There's a notch that shows where you're cutting, so if you're good, you can use it to cut a straight enough line.  Or, if you're me and couldn't dream of following a line, you can use a board and clamps as a guide which is much easier!

The first Jigsaw pictured is a much newer version of what I have, but the price range is still the same, around $30.  That also makes it the cheapest power saw, which is even better!  Like all the other tools, I'll eventually upgrade to a battery operated one, but until then my little corded one has lasted 10 years and has no signs of stopping, so I think I'll just keep using it for awhile.   

Saw Tips:

  • If you have a project that requires long cuts of wood, have them cut it at the hardware store when you buy it.  This is how I get around having to make huge cuts at home.  If the cut needs to be precise, have them cut it a smidge larger than your measurement and then sand it down to the right size.  Hardware store saws can vary in the accurateness.
  • Safety Glasses should naturally be on the same shopping list as a saw if you're buying one.  Jigsaws don't throw too much sawdust around, but it's still not worth the risk!
  • Jigsaw blades are small and can break.  Don't panic!  It happens.  But have a few extra blades around just in case so a broken blade doesn't bring your project to a halt.
  • Make sure you have the right blade for the job!  Jigsaw blades come in all shapes and sizes for several different materials, so don't use your metal blade on wood. :-)

6) All the Screwdrivers

I don't know how many times I realized I didn't have the right size screwdriver bit for a project before I went out and bought a huge set.  It's so frustrating!  Get a set with several different sizes, with several flat head and phillips head versions, because you'll use them the most.  Trust me, when you want to change the hardware on something, or take something apart, you'll be happy you have these.

7) Levels

Another super important thing to have around the house.  I have three different size levels: a small one for hanging small items like picture frames, a medium one for larger things like shelves, and a big one for hanging shelf brackets in studs.  They're cheap and last virtually forever, so get a set and be prepared for anything.  There's nothing worse than a crooked...anything!   

8) Painting Supplies

For about ever other project, you'll probably be painting something at some point.  So you'll want to have a bunch of rollers, trays, and different size brushes laying around.  Different projects require different types of rollers and brushes, so it's always good to get an assortment of types as well. 

I use all three of these the most frequently, and therefore buy them in bulk:

Paint Supply Tips

  • Use aluminum foil on your paint trays.  That way, when you need to switch a color, you can just toss the foil and reuse the tray!  It makes it nice because you can invest in nicer, sturdier trays.
  • Always keep plenty of painter's tape around.  Besides being useful for painting, it's always handy for several other things, like placement of shelves on the wall.

9) Clamps

Useful for cutting, sanding, gluing, and just keeping things in one place that need to stay still, clamps are another necessity for the usual do it yourself project.  I started with two of the small ones on the left, and they are still the ones I use the most.  Longer ones, right angle ones, and other angled ones are needed for special projects, but I only buy new ones if I absolutely need them.  A few simple clamps are all you need to get started.    

10) Rulers, Measuring Tapes, and T-Squares

These all fall under the measurement category, so they don't get separate numbers.  A good measuring tape is essential for any home project.  You can't put a shelf up if you don't know how big of one to buy!  The same goes for rulers and t-squares, which are super handy for marking lines to cut.  Grab a few to get you started, and keep a few different length measuring tapes around so you don't have to spend half the day looking for one (like me).


This isn't something that's crazy necessary, but it is something I bought and have gotten a ton of use out of so I wanted to share! 

I bought one of these portable work benches about 10 years ago, and it's been so wonderful.  I used to prop wood up between totes, chairs, or whatever other sturdy thing I could find to cut it, and now I have a dedicated place to do so.  It's adjustable, clamps work on it easily, and it folds out of the way when you don't need it.  I was even able to store mine in the closet at my tiny old apartment!

So while not necessary, I can't recommend it enough if you're going to be doing lots of DIYs.  I have one that's slightly different from this one, but it's basically the same concept.  And this one is only $30, which is great!

Shew...did you get all that?

I hope you gals find this list helpful and get inspired to build yourself some projects!  It's fun, rewarding, and always awesome to tell someone you built something! 

Pin it for Later!

Did I miss anything on this list?  What are your go to tools for your DIY projects?

Want to see more posts from National Craft Month?  Check out the list here!

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