Do you like making things? Me too. Here are the projects I’ve created and the tutorials to match!

Simple Printed Wrapping Paper / Video on Evoke.ie

how to print Christmas wrapping paper

I’m over on Evoke.ie again today with a little video showing how to make this simple printed wrapping paper. One of my favorite tricks for wrapping gifts is to take inexpensive rolls and spruce them up with my own stamps or stencils. It instantly elevates just about any gift!

Have a peek here.

A Christmas Card Magnet DIY and PicPack Giveaway

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Happy Friday, friends! I thought I’d show you our Christmas cards this year and how I DIY jazzed them up with some cute magnets from PicPack! And then I thought I’d do a little giveaway of a pack of magnets from PicPack since I think they’re fab. How’s that for a Friday plan?

First, a peek at our Christmas cards this year! When I was home in Maine over Thanksgiving, I read in the Design*Sponge weekly newsletter that Staples was having a Black Friday deal where if you bought any single thing in the store you could get a coupon for 25 free Christmas cards. So I stopped in for ten seconds and one very inexpensive pack of tissues and got my coupon. It’s the one and only Black Friday purchase I’ve ever made and I’m thrilled with how the cards turned out! They’re along the lines of all my other minty holiday decor this year, and they’re VERY cheerful.

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I used one of the photos Ashley took of us, sitting on the steps of one of Dublin’s iconic Georgian buildings, right in front of the most perfectly turquoise green door. The colors worked perfectly with the geometric photo template. That’s the back of the card on the right in the photo above. Well, minus the bits in the middle. That’s the DIY jazzed up part I’m going to show you!

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So once I had the cards all printed (you can pick them up 24 hours after you order them! Score one for Staples!), I ordered magnets from PicPack. I’ve used PicPack to print Instagram photos before and loved the quality of their magnets – the colors come out great and the magnets are really strong. This time, I used higher resolution photos instead of Instagram photos and they’re even lovelier! I ordered a selection of Christmassy ones, like pine boughs and Bean boots, as well as a few more of Ashley’s photos of us.

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The magnets arrived just a few days later and I started jazzing up those Christmas cards. The only complaint I have with the geometric back of the Christmas card is that it make it a little hard to write the actual Christmas greeting. So I used blank minty green cards I had left over from our save the dates about seven years ago! I tell you, it pays to hoard stationery supplies! I took out some washi tape and used that to affix the blank cards to the Christmas cards and stuck the magnets on top using regular Scotch tape. Metallic Sharpies are my go-to for all things wrapping, they make anything look a little more fancy!

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On a few magnets, like the pine branch ones, I used the metallic markers to write on them, so they’ll be a little something our friends and family can put on their fridge and add a little holiday cheer. You could get really clever and write in speech bubbles over kids’ photos as well.

And now the fun part! I’m giving away a free pack of 12 magnets from PicPack to one lucky reader. To enter, head over to Facebook and like and share this post! I’ll choose a winner on Tuesday at noon (Irish time) so you can have your magnets by Christmas!

If you don’t win, you can still order your PicPack magnets today and have them in a week! They have free shipping worldwide, which always makes me particularly happy since Ireland hardly ever gets that!

Good luck and have a happy weekend!

DIY Velvet Ribbon Magnets

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At the moment our magnet boards in the kitchen have more magnets than things to hold up, but after living without a magnetic fridge for four years, magnets feel like a novelty so I’ve been hoarding them. And these are probably the cutest DIY magnets I’ve made yet. They take all of ten seconds to complete, and you only need two supplies and two tools!

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Here’s how to make your own. You’ll need:

  • magnets or magnet tape
  • velvet ribbon
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

Start by cutting your velvet ribbon into sections. You’ll need a one-inch strip and a two-inch strip for each ribbon. Then use sharp scissors to cut out a little triangle section on each side of the two-inch piece.

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Add a dot of hot glue on the back of the longer piece, then wrap the short piece around so it meets in the back.  diy_velvet_ribbon_magnets velvet_ribbon_diy

Then simply attach your magnets with a little more hot glue, and you have DIY magnet ribbons!  DSC_0009 Aren’t they sweet? (And a little Colby College pride from a wedding last summer. Miss those friends of ours so much!)

Am I the only one cluttering up spaces with magnets?

Hot Chocolate Season / A DIY Gift

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It’s finally gotten chilly here in Dublin. It took forever for winter to get here, thankfully, and now that it’s here I’m trying to remind myself that winter in Dublin means two things. Candle season (cosiness!) and hot chocolate season.

I’m plotting a round-up of my favorite spots for hot chocolate in Dublin in the coming weeks (must do a little more research – yum yum!) but in the meantime, I’m sharing this sweet little customized cocoa mug DIY over on Wedding Party today. I love the copper and navy – it’s wintry without screaming Christmas. Not that screaming Christmas is a bad thing, per se, but there’s a time and a place and that time has not quite come yet, despite the displays already set up in most shops here!

You can see the full DIY (very simple, very inexpensive) over on Wedding Party today.

Make It Videos with Evoke.ie / Mummy Treat Cans

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Guess what’s going on today? More Halloween crafting! I made a video of these super cute mummy treat cans for Evoke.ie …And I actually made myself watch the video this time – anyone else hate watching themselves on video?! But it’s pretty good and really short. In less than a minute, you can see exactly how to make your own, just in time for Halloween on Friday!  westbrooks_mummy_treat_cans_diy

And you can see how to make those hilarious bats right here!

Cocktail DIY / Flower Petal Ice Cubes

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I love the idea of sprucing up water or cocktails with flower petal ice cubes. They add so much fun color that your drink is instantly more festive! My mother-in-law has billions of bright nasturtiums, and I knew they were edible, so I just needed to figure out how to make big ice cubes that would fit the whole flower. Enter: muffin tins! They’re just the right size for a whole nasturtium bloom.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

A muffin tin

Edible flowers, washed

Cold water

Make sure the flowers are edible and all the bugs and dirt are washed off. I used nasturtiums (my mom calls them nasties, which is way more fun to say!) and snipped off the little bumpy part at the back so they would lay flat in the muffin cups. Then I carefully poured water over each flower so they were just submerged. I put the whole muffin tin in the freezer and popped them out when they were good and frozen.

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One quick tip – if you fill glasses with cold water the flower ice cubes won’t melt as quickly. Or you could use them with either of these cold summer drinks!

DIY Painted Flower Pots for Confetti Online

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I wrote a little post over on Confetti online that I thought you might enjoy. They’re the fastest, simplest painted flower pots. I think they’d make great centrepieces for a garden wedding or for a backyard barbecue. The best thing about terra cotta pots is that the paint dries instantly. Nothing better than a DIY project that can be finished in 10 minutes!

You can see more photos and a little explanation over on Confetti.

DIY Stamped and Watercolored Poem Greeting Cards

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I have a confession to make. I do not actually need more greeting cards. I’m a recovering greeting card hoarder. I’d pick up pretty boxes of thank you notes and blank cards, mostly from TJMaxx, whenever I saw a new design I liked. And I picked them up at a much higher rate than I mailed them out. When I moved to Dublin, my whole card collection came with me, at which point I realized I’d better use up those cards before I bought any new ones. I’ve mostly kicked the addiction in the last few years, but that doesn’t stop me from DIYing a few now and then. After all, I also have a giant collection of blank greeting cards out in the studio. Many, many more than I’ll ever need.  diy_greeting_cards_poem_stamp_2014_2

For all my vast collection of greeting cards, I didn’t have anything particularly sweet or inspiring. Tons of thank you notes and some floral prints, but nothing with an inspirational phrase. Which led me to this simple DIY project. Blank greeting cards, watercolor paints, and a super-duper customizable stamp. (I got mine from Viking, they’ve quite a selection to choose from but I thought this one was the best – it comes with tweezers for moving the letters around. And they also have same day delivery in Ireland which is fairly novel.)

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I painted on really simple strokes of thinned out pink watercolor paint and let it dry completely. Then I arranged my little letters on my stamp and pressed it on. Once you have your stamp set up, you could whip out lots of them really quickly. A whole pack of them would make a really sweet gift, actually. And there’s a new way for me to use up that stockpile of blank greeting cards!

I’d love to know what poem you’d stamp. I find this Emerson poem nicely inspiring without being too over the top. It just makes you want to take a walk around the block!

 

DIY Fabric Covered Numbers for Confetti.ie

fabric table numbers finished 2

I was doing so well with DIY Thursday at the start of the year, and then those Thursdays just got away from me. I do have an excuse, which I’d like to share with you today. I’ve been creating so many projects and posts and content for Confetti.ie that there has been very little time or space in my brain left for my own projects. Which completely contradicts the point of DIY Thursday. However, now that I’m starting to put these posts up on Confetti, I thought some of them would be fun to share with you while I catch up on DIYing around the house.

This one is a DIY tutorial for fabric covered table numbers. They’re designed for a wedding (because Confetti’s a wedding site), but I think they’re so cute I’m going to have to make some with our initials to sit on our bookcase. The fabric is a Liberty print and there’s something about their florals that makes me get over my general distaste for florals.

You can see the full (and super simple) tutorial over on Confetti.ie.

Simple DIY / Copper Gilded Salt Cellars

salt cellar

Happy Thursday, friends! Time for another DIY project and this one, yet again, is the simplest. I got it in my head that for my 30th birthday dinner party, I wanted to have touches of copper along with my mint green dishes. I’ve already shared how I polka dotted the water glasses, so now I thought I’d show you my little copper gilded salt cellars.

I love the look of salt (and pepper) cellars with tiny little spoons. I rarely use them in restaurants, but they just look so fresh that I’ve started to use one in our house. I’m always tempted to run my fingers through the salt – I never do, but let me tell you that is the reason I don’t use them in restaurants! If I’m tempted, who knows who else is tempted!

Anyway, I digress. The copper gilded salt cellars involve three supplies: liquid copper leaf, masking tape, and these little tiny glass bowls I found at Ikea in a pack of four. Tape off a little section of the bowl with the masking tape, and paint the remaining bit. Let it dry and peel off the tape carefully. Et voila! Copper gilded salt cellars perfect for making any dinner a little more festive.

Tell me, what are your thoughts on salt cellars? Do you ever use them in restaurants or do you have the same reservations as me?

 Photo by Rincy Koshy.

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