Geometric Coasters

I spent a lot of time deciding how to make coasters. After spending too much time on Pinterest, I decided ceramic bathroom tiles were the best choice. Luckily, my dad had a couple extras laying around, so I didn’t even have to buy them.

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All you need to make these geometric coasters are small, white bathroom tiles that are approximately 4 x 4 inches, painters tape, clear spray paint, felt, a hot glue gun, acrylic paint, and small paintbrushes. The tiles, tape, and clear spray paint are inexpensive at Home Depot, and the rest of the supplies are just as cheap at Michael’s. For my coasters, I chose two metallic colors that fit in with my color scheme, but additional colors work as well. You will also want black paint to make lines between the different color blocks. Any color of felt is fine. I had white laying around, so I went ahead and used that.

First, spread a piece of tape diagonally across the tile, and then across the other side. The edge of the tape should be touching each corner so that the tape forms a clear triangle patch. Paint this with you first color. You will probably need more than one coat. I needed about three. Give each section as much time to dry as possible so that the tape will not distort paint. Take off the top piece of tape to open up a second triangle. Paint this with your second color.

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Remove the remaining piece of tape, and move on to the other side of the tile. Tape a new piece down the middle of the tile, making a small triangle. Paint this with the first color you used so that it is different than the color next to it. Remove the piece of tape, and place a new one down the middle on the adjacent side, creating the same triangle pattern in the opposite corner. Paint your second color here. At this point, it should look something like the picture below.

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You should have a small square remaining. Place a piece of tape diagonally across the open square, and paint the color that will be different than the triangle next to it. When you peel off the last piece of tape, paint your final color in the open triangle.

When all of the paint is completely dry, use a very thin paintbrush and black paint to trace the lines between each color block. The black lines should cover up any residue between the opposing colors.

After the entire tile is dry, generously spray the entire thing with clear spray paint to seal it and create a glossy finish. At first, I used some good ol’ fashioned mod podge because it was all I had, but it left a sticky residue, so I would definitely recommend the spray paint instead.

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Lastly, cut your felt a little smaller than the size of the coaster tile, and use the glue gun to glue it to the bottom of the tile. The felt will prevent the tile from scratching your table.

Your coasters are complete and ready to use.

Stay tuned for more coaster projects. While searching through the Michael’s clearance bins, I bought a pack of coasters for next-to-nothing. Eventually, I plan on mod podging them with something. We’ll see what happens.

Personalize Dollar Store Plates

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This is one project that everyone on Pinterest is obsessed with, and I was curious if it really worked as well as everyone says. Well, it does, and it’s one of the cheapest projects out there.When you’re in need of a cheap, easy, thoughtful gift, look no further than your local bargain store. Using only a marker, you can personalize ceramic dishware in just a few quick steps.

At the 99¢ Only Store or Dollar Tree, you can find ceramic plates, bowls, and mugs for literally only a dollar. This amazed me. I never wanted to leave. When choosing a dish, it is better to pick a white or light-colored one so that your design will show up better. However, I am really interested in trying a metallic Sharpie on a dark-colored dish to see how it turns out. The only other item you’ll need is a Sharpie, which you can purchase just about anywhere.

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Set your oven to 350 degrees. Using your sharpie, draw whatever you want on your dish or cup. This part took me a while. I had no idea what to do, so I wrote “hello” in a few different languages.

Don’t stress out if you mess up because some water and a sponge should wash away your mistakes. Make sure to scrub your errors right away because they will be much easier to erase if you act quickly. The longer you wait, the harder you will have to scrub.

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Once the oven is heated, bake the ceramic dishware for 30 minutes, and let it cool completely. Your design should be set and ready to use. Although the design is permanent, it will probably not last in the dishwasher, so be sure to hand wash it. This part could be kind of hit or miss, so use caution the first time you wash it.

Personalized dishware are perfect for gifts and special occasions, and no one ever has to know how easy it was to make. This is my future backup plan for Christmas gifts. It’d be perfect for a plate of cookies.

Hang Jewelry on Your Wall

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Looking for a way to both display and organize your jewelry? I’ve tried many things over the years. First, I had a plastic tube with a top that the jewelry hanged from. This worked fine until I suddenly had a lot of jewelry and most of it was far too long for the container. Then I bought a tree, which is beautiful…for short necklaces or bracelets.

So one day I looked through my tool box, and I found some small hooks that I somehow ended up with over time. I’m pretty sure I picked them up at a swap meet, but even at a place like Home Depot I imagine they’d be extremely inexpensive. So I measured out my space, used a small leveler to keep my line straight, and marked the wall with pencil so the hooks would be evenly spaced apart.

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The hooks twisted in easily, and they hold several necklaces on each hook. It sits underneath my Nan Lawson photo, aligned with the edges of the frame. Now I can display my jewelry and keep it untangled. I also continue to use my jewelry tree for hanging shorter chains and some bracelets. This is the easiest, fastest DIY project there is.

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Lace Earring Tree

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Dangling earrings can be difficult to store or hang, so I found a simple, cute way to remedy the problem. This project only cost me about $3, and you can design it to fit in with your decor.

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All you need is a cheap frame, some lace, scissors, and a glue gun. Depending on the frame, you may also want spray paint. I picked up a frame at the dollar store and spray painted it with a leftover can that I had. Your lace should be a tight pattern rather than open so that the earrings can stay in place.

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First, remove the frame backing and glass. Cut the lace to fit over the opening of the frame. Leave enough extra fabric on the sides just in case. You can always cut the excess lace after. Because of the type of frame I had, my only choice was to glue the lace down with a glue gun, but it may need to be re-glued in the future because the earrings may pull at the lace, causing wear. You can also use a staple gun if you have a wood frame. Begin gluing the lace, and pull the sides tightly over the frame’s opening as you glue it down. It should be pulled tight to better hold the earrings.

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Once it’s glued and feels secure, it’s ready for use. It’s probably easiest to lean against something because the backs of the earrings may not lay properly if you try to hang the frame on a wall. It is somewhat delicate, but it holds my earrings well, and now I can actually display them instead of leaving them laying on my dresser.

DIY Dreamcatcher

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It’s been a white since my last post, but now that school is out for the summer, I can get back into what I love most – projects. Recently, I made a dreamcatcher for my boyfriend because he’s never owned one, and I adore them. This is a very traditional dreamcatcher because it was my first attempt, but you can view some beautiful contemporary designs by Rachael Rice here.

Although it takes some time, it’s not a very difficult craft if you’re just making a basic dreamcatcher. You’ll need a metal hoop, suede lace, thin string, feathers, beads, and a needle. You will also want scissors, a glue gun, and any other decorations you may want to add. I used some blue and purple paint to paint some boring white and brown beads. Because dreamcatchers usually have a stone in the middle to capture your dreams, you may want to choose a special bead that will be different from the rest. The hoop I chose is about four inches in diameter, but they come in many sizes. My suede was brown, and my string was dark blue. I recommend choosing colors that will reflect you or the person you’re making it for. I got all of my supplies at Michael’s. They actually had a small section specifically for dreamcatcher supplies.

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First, use a small amount of hot glue to secure the suede lace to the hoop. Hold it down, and begin wrapped the hoop tightly without overlapping. Hot glue does not stick to metal as well as one would hope, so you may need to glue throughout your wrapping to keep it from unraveling. When you reach the end, add it a dot of hot glue and hold until it feels secure. At this point, you can also create the loop from which the dream catcher will hang and then cut your suede. Because my suede lace was difficult to manipulate, I used thin string to hang it when I finished everything else.

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Using your thin string, tie the beginning to spot on the hoop in between the suede lace so that it cannot be easily seen. Next, loosely wrap the string around the hoop, approximately an inch apart depending on the size of your hoop. If possible, these sections should also fit between the gaps in the suede lace. You should be creating loops in the string. When you reach the end, use your needle to pull the string through the loops you’ve just made. Continue pulling string through the loops gradually toward the middle of the hoop, creating a web. It doesn’t need to be very tight because you will put it tighter when you reach the middle.

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When you reach the middle and are content with your design, put the string a little tighter and thread a unique bead in the middle of the web. Unfortunately mine is not symmetric or perfectly webbed, but imperfect is fine with me. Tie it tightly to secure it, and your web is finished. From there, you can move on to decorating the dreamcatcher with beads and feathers.

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You can either use more suede lace to hang from the hoop or different types of string( I used suede lace because I wanted to stick to a traditional look this time around). I cut a piece of suede and looped it between the hoop and a section of the web. Then I threaded a bead over the two sides of the piece to keep it in place, creating two dangling pieces of suede lace. This seemed like the easiest method for the suede lace because it was too thick to make actual knots around the hoop. I did this three times evenly spaced around the bottom of the hoop.

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When you have pieces dangling down, you can begin adding more decorations. First, thread whatever beads you want to use onto the piece. Using your glue gun, glue a feather or two to the very bottom of the piece. Depending on the feather, the beads could slip over the feather too easily. If this is the case, fasten the lower bead with blue at the base of the feather. This will keep the beads from slipping, and securing the bead over the feather hides any ugly glue residue.

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Repeat the same process on your remaining ends. I also glued feathers to the beads near the top that I used to hold the suede lace together. Consider the length of your dangling pieces. In my case, I wanted them to be longer in the middle and proportional on the sides, so make sure you cut them to size before you begin gluing.

Lastly, if you haven’t already, use some extra string to hang the dreamcatcher. Depending on your supplies, it may be delicate, but as long as everything is dry, it is free to hang.

Make the dreamcatcher a representation of yourself, and if you feel confident, add some unique items to your project. I’m looking forward to creating one for myself this summer with a little more flair to it.

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Homemade Pizza

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I can’t cook. I can bake and make some wonderful mac and cheese, but I can’t really cook. Recently, I’ve been trying to expand my horizons and save a little money in the process, so this week I made pizza.

Homemade pizza is so easy to make and won’t break the bank. Trust me. If I can do it, anyone can. All you need are some premade flatbreads, which come in a variety of delicious flavors, marinara sauce, shredded cheese, basil, and whatever other toppings you like on your pizza.

Spread a thin layer of sauce on the flatbread with a spoon and cover it with cheese. I bought Sargento 6 Cheese Italian for one and Sargento 4 Cheese Pizzeria the other. Then add your toppings and sprinkle some basil on top. The basil really does make a difference.

Lastly, pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Depending on your bread and preferences, the time may vary, so keep an eye on it. Once it’s out of the oven and cooled off, it’s ready to enjoy. Homemade pizza is a beautiful thing.

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Magnetic Makeup Board

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I’ve seen a lot of Pinterest tutorials for magnetic makeup boards, so here’s my take on the craft. I recently moved into a room with a much larger bathroom with counter space. I’m taking advantage of this by utilizing more drawer space, shelves, and counter top decorations like this piece.

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For this project, you’ll need a piece of metal, which you can buy for relatively cheap at Home Depot. The thickness is up to you. I chose one this is fairly thin. You will also need a frame of some sort that fits the metal. My dad made me this one in his workshop, but any frame from anywhere will work as long as it has a backing to support the metal (particularly if the metal is thin and flimsy). This will also require a hot glue gun, fabric, spray adhesive, and various sized magnets.

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First, iron the fabric you plan to use so that it doesn’t show any creases when it sticks to the metal. Then take the metal, fabric, and adhesive spray outside, and evenly cover the metal with glue. Carefully lay down the fabric and smooth it down quickly before it begins to dry. Fold the side pieces over and use a glue gun to secure them to the back of the metal.

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Once the fabric is dry and set, place the metal inside the frame and secure the backing. Next, use the glue gun to glue magnets to your eyeshadows, blushes, powders, etc. and allow them a moment to dry. They should be ready to place on the board and hang or set out on display.

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For brushes and eyeliners or eyebrow pencils, use a mason jar or glass to hold them in one place. Fill with small beads if necessary to make it higher. Now your makeup can be easily accessible so that you can always see your options rather than rummaging through a drawer. This is an easy and helpful DIY for managing a cluttered drawer.