Category Archives: Projects

Halloween Party Luminaries – Free Printable

I’m actually not throwing a Halloween party. Every year, I say I’m going to throw a party, then every year something keeps me from doing it. This year, a couple of friends of mine are actually having a party that promises to be way more epic than anything I could throw together. Maybe next year?

So I basically designed this project for my imaginary party. But hey, are you throwing a party? Because if you are, I’d be thrilled if you used this idea.

I’m not actually going to do a step by step tutorial for this project, since it’s kind of a no-brainer. (Does that count as a pun?)

Basically, all you need to do is cut along the dotted lines on the printable, and glue or tape each insert into a 3-3/4″ square hole in a standard paper lunch bag. Well, my bags measure 5-1/8″ x 3-1/8″ x 10-5/8″, so I’m assuming that that’s a standard size. Anyway, place each square hole 1-3/4″ from the bottom of the bag. You want the placement to be pretty low so you get a lot of flicker behind the insert.

I used calligraphy paper to print my inserts onto, but any light colored paper would work. I bet this would be really cool printed on vellum. If you try that, please let me know how it comes out.

The last step is to put a little sand or rocks in the bottom of each bag, and add a candle. I used battery operated candles so I didn’t have to worry about them burning my house down. Obviously, if you’re using real flame candles, you don’t want to close the top of each bag. And if you burn your house down, don’t blame me.

OK, so here’s the printable. I really hope you enjoy, and have an awesome Halloween!

Click the Image Below to Download the Free Printable

Click the image to download

P.S. I’m sure you’ve figured this out, because you’re so smart, but you can use this printable for lots of things. Make the bags and use them as goodie bags, or paint the bags bright colors and use them to decorate a Dia de los Muertos altar. Use your imagination! Oh, and if you want to share this printable, please credit me. Thanks and Happy Halloween!

Special thanks to for use of the amazing smoke brushes!


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Popsicle Party Invitation – Free Printable

I live deep down in the South, and it’s getting hot outside.  And every year, when the weather turns hot, I start making two things: Cocktails and Popsicles.  So this year, I decided to combine the two and throw a popsicles and booze party.

First things first:  Invitations.  Once I started designing the invitations for this party, I knew right away that I wanted to share them with you.

Popsicle Party Invitation

For this project, you’re going to need:

  • Popsicle Party Invitation Printable (see below)
  • Heavy Card Stock
  • Popsicle Sticks (mine were 4-1/2 inches long)
  • Adhesive (I found double stick tape worked better than glue, but it’s up to you)

1.  Print out printable onto card stock (using the link at the end of this post).  One printable is good for three invitations, so print as many as you need.  Cut out each popsicle (keeping the two pieces joined at the top).

2.  Fold each popsicle section in half where the two pieces join.  TIP:  It’s easier to snip out the little cut-out at the top of the cards after they’re folded.

3.  Adhere the stick to the inside of the FRONT of the card.  This may seem counter-intuitive, but if you put the stick on the inside of the back, you won’t have anywhere to write.  This picture may make it a little clearer:

And that’s it!  It’s a super-simple design, but one that has a lot of different uses.  If you aren’t having a popsicle party, why not use the printable for invitations to a kid’s birthday party, an ice cream social, or even a cookout.  Or use them as thank you cards or add them to hostess gifts.  However you use them, I hope these little cards will be good company all summer long!

Click The Image Below To Download The Free Printable

If you want to share this printable, please just make sure you credit me.  (And please don’t use it for any commercial uses without my permission — not like you would!)  Thanks so much and enjoy!

Make sure you stay tuned to see how the party goes.

SPOILER ALERT: There will be boozy popsicle recipes in the near future.

And as always, I would love to hear from you.  If you use this printable, let me know what you did with it!  You can leave a comment on this blog post, email me at, or find me on facebook or twitter.


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Graphic Portraits: Adventures in Wasting Time

So most of my blog posts up until now have been tutorials or recipes.  You know, I try to teach you something that I’ve been working on.  Today is a little bit of a departure from that.  So stick around or check back next week for a new project.

I have recently been trying  to teach myself how to use different Adobe software — namely Illustrator and Photoshop.  You may have noticed that my recent blog posts have been a little snazzier (see here and here for instance).

So anyway, I thought I’d try a project in illustrator where I basically trace someone’s face and make a graphic portrait out of it.  And this little project has consumed my life!  I haven’t done any real work in days, just making portraits.  Anyway, here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

So whattdya think?  I have been having so much fun doing these, I’ve decided to open up a little Etsy shop doing custom portraits as a side project.  I’m not sure if it’ll be sustainable for any length of time.  They do take a long time to make, but each one goes a little faster.  For instance, the first one I did was of my dog.  It took me about five hours, and it isn’t very good is bad.

He looks so mad.  I’ve taken to calling that one “Angry Hitler Dog.”  Oh well, it’s all a learning experience.

Anyway, sorry there’s no tutorial today.  I just have been enjoying this project so much, I thought I would share.  See you next time!

UPDATE:  I did open a little Etsy shop doing these, and you can see it here.  Also, the FB page for my portrait work is here.  Thanks for all the positive feedback guys!

Do you have a creative hobby?  What have you been working on to waste time?  I’d love to hear about it!  Either leave a comment on this post, or email me:  Are you on Facebook?  Well, what do you know, so are we!  Come check out our Facebook page.

Oh, and a special thank you to my friends for generously allowing me to share your images with the world!

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Paper Chain Window Screen

A couple of months ago, I started a business.  And my boyfriend oh-so-sweetly offered to give me a desk in his already too-full bookmaking studio to work on.  Well, my business has been steadily expanding, and a few days ago it became clear that the studio wasn’t big enough for the two of us.  So he generously ceded the studio to me and moved his operation to the enclosed back porch.  Which is a long way of telling you that I now have an office to call my own!  First on my agenda?  Redecorating.  Starting with this:

Ugh.  I hate blinds in general, but this Pier 1 chic is especially not my style.  If it were feasible, I would love to just keep the window uncovered.  Unfortunately, we have a neighbor who is kind of . . . um . . . creepy.*  He’s harmless, but I don’t exactly want him watching me work.  So I set out to create something that would let in a lot of light while offering some privacy.  Here’s what I came up with.

Paper chain may not seem like an obvious window covering but once I thought of it, it seemed to make perfect sense.  Paper chain is easy to make with supplies you already have, and it provides the right amount of privacy while still letting in lots of light.  And picking a neutral color palette gives the whole thing an air of grown-up sophistication.

Paper Chain Window Screen

You’ll Need:

  • Paper (see notes below)
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Clear Thumb Tacks
  • Clip Board, Book, or Some Other Hard Flat Surface

1.  First, gather your supplies.  For this project, I used cheap copy paper, calligraphy paper, and newsprint.  The first two papers measured 8-1/2″ x 11″, so no trimming was needed.  I had to cut the newsprint into 8-1/2″ wide strips.

2.  Tear the paper into strips.  The easiest way to do this is to lay a piece of paper on your work surface and place a clip board or book on top of it, with about a 1″ strip of paper exposed.  Grab the end of the strip and, while applying firm pressure to your clip board, quickly tear the strip free.  The process should look something like this:

And you should end up with this:

3.  Repeat the above process until you have a whole bunch of paper strips.  Make sure you keep the strips of different materials separate.

4.  Make your chains. This is just a matter of adhering the opposite ends of a strip with a little double stick tape and adding loops one at a time.  My window measures 32″, so I found that the base chains needed 18 links each.

5. Attach your chains to the inside frame of the window with thumb tacks.  There is no science to this; just randomly pin them into place.  As you do, you’ll start to figure out what should go where.  It’s pretty intuitive, and it will only look good if you aren’t too uptight about placement.

6. Make some longer chains to overlap the base chains, if desired.  I found that my favorite look was when there was some overlap, but not too much.  After trying combinations ranging from seven chains all the way up to twenty, I decided fourteen chains looked the best.

Some Notes On This Project:

  • I chose a combination of white and ivory papers, based on the colors of the best-selling product on my website.  You could certainly choose colors that fit your individual style.  Scrapbook papers would probably work really well.
  • This project involves putting a whole lot of little holes in your window frame.  I don’t care about that, but if you do, you could probably use that sticky tack stuff you use to hang up dorm posters instead of thumb tacks.  If you try that, let me know if it worked!
  • The most important thing about this project is that you don’t over-think it.  I started out by measuring and cutting my paper strips, and it looked all wrong.  For the best results, rip the strips quickly.  Some may only be half an inch wide, others might be an inch and a half.  Imperfection is what this project is all about!

Do you want to make this project but have some questions?  I’d love to answer them.  Either leave a comment on this post, or email me:  Did you make this project and want to share your pictures with the world?  Well by all means post them on our Facebook page!

*Blake, I can’t imagine you’re reading this.  But if you are, I am sorry I called you creepy.

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First day of spring

I can’t imagine a more beautiful morning to ring in the first day of spring here in the North Carolina mountains.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and life feels like a cliché.

The weeping cherry tree is full to bursting with tiny cherry blossoms.  The forsythia is practically falling over from all the yellow flowers.  All of our hostas are peeking out of the dirt, and there are the tiniest little leaves on our fig tree.  Seriously, does it get more adorable than tiny fig leaves?

With a morning like this, how could I not wander around the garden snapping pictures?  And as long as we don’t get a late frost (fingers crossed), it’s only going to get better.

What is coming up in your garden right now?  I’m obsessed with springtime, and I’d love to hear about it in your neck of the woods.  Here’s to a beautiful spring!

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Mini Bunting Card DIY

I was shopping at a local discount store a couple of days ago, and I found a Fiskars triangle-shaped craft punch for super cheap.  It was too good a deal to pass up, but it took me a while to figure out a project to use it for.  I ended up using a version of the technique I’m going to show you to make a birthday card for my niece’s first birthday.  I ironed out some kinks, and now I want to show you what I came up with.

You’ll Need:

  • Heavy Weight Card Stock (measuring around 8-1/2″ x 6″, for the card itself)
  • Light Weight Card Stock (for the bunting)
  • Triangle Craft Punch 
  • Twine (about 8 inches)
  • Glue Dots
  • Letter Stamps or Stickers
  • Scissors

First, cut out the bunting.  Fold some light weight card stock in a strip wide enough to measure twice the length of your triangle punch.  This is not exact science, just make sure you give yourself plenty of card stock to work with.

Now position your punch almost all the way up to the folded edge of card stock and punch all the way through.  You should end up with a diamond shape with a fold right in the middle, like this:

If you ended up with two triangles instead, you just need to punch a little further away from the folded edge.  No big deal.  Now punch out a bunch of these diamonds.  It doesn’t hurt to punch several more than you need, to be on the safe side.

Now stamp your message onto the bunting.  I would highly recommend using one stamp per flag.

When you’re all done stamping, fold each flag over the twine, and affix the two sides together with a glue dot.  If you place the dot at the bottom of the flag, you’ll be able to adjust the flags a little more.

Now fold the card directly in half vertically.  Punch a small hole at the top two corners, and string your bunting through the two holes.  Tie small knots on the outside of each end of twine.  Your final product should look like this:

Now you’re ready to add a greeting, put the card in an envelope, and stick it in the mail.

Some Notes About This Project:

  • Heavy card stock can be too much to punch through, so make sure you’re using light weight stuff (like they use for scrap-booking).
  • If you don’t have a craft punch, you can still totally make this project.  Just use some scissors and a ruler to cut out the triangles.

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