let’s get crafty

8 holiday washi tape projects

December 10, 2014
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It’s amazing what a little colorful washi tape can do to brighten up your holiday season.  Whether it’s adorning an envelope, wall or package… it’s a perfect addition that makes things a little more festive.

holiday washi tape projects

We carry a variety of pretty patterned tapes at our locations and love all these creative uses for them.

The girls from eighteen25 make popsicle sticks chic just by covering them with tape. Add some glue and magnet and you have a lovely homemade gift.

How to Nest for Less makes plain jane glass candle holders merry and bright with a just a few wraps of washi tape.

clothespins

Simple clothes pins turn super cute when they are dressed up in Christmas colors.  Perpetually Daydreaming put magnets on the back of hers for displaying holiday cards, but they also could be used as a chip clips.

Packages always look prettier when they are adorned with a fun gift tag. Making Home Base shows how easy it is to give your tag that extra punch of cheer.

52 Crafts in 52 weeks makes creating handmade Christmas cards easy. If you can cute tape, you can send these simply and stylish greetings to your friends and family.

If crafting a card takes too much time, why not dress up your envelope?  I love that the girls from 2 Berry Blog used paper bags for their envelopes (and their cards are pretty stinkin’ sweet too)

You Are My Fave wrapped these pretties for a friend’s birthday, but I love the idea of taping things to the outside of presents or labeling gifts with the recipient’s initials.

washi tape tree

If you don’t have room for a tree or want to create a little Christmas spirit in your your child’s bedroom, this idea from Chen Chen is such an adorable application of washi tape!

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6 clever ways to count your blessings

November 4, 2014
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How do you count your blessings? It’s the time of year to give thanks for all things (big and small) that we appreciate in our daily life.  Remembering and noting the gifts that we are given often mean more if you actually take the time to put it down in writing.

gratitude journals

 

Here are a few cool ways to create your own reminder of what really means the most to you…

Melissa from Lulu The Baker took a few mini composition books and turned them into beautiful Gratitude Journals that take only 5 minute to make! Only 2 materials needed to make these: the composition books and your choice of patterned paper.

Want something with a more rustic feel? The gals over at The Chic Site took a plain brown paper journal and with a few stamps, ink and some ribbon–transformed it into a unique Gratitude Journal.With your choice of tools and colors-the customization possibilities are almost endless.

Ellen from Confessions of an Overworked Mom took a few brown lunch bags, paper, and ribbon and crafted this charming DIY Gratitude Journal. You can make this as simple or elaborate as you’d like.

Here’s a great idea for Thanksgiving…this easy to make Gratitude Journal serves as both a place card for your guest and a great journal for them to use throughout the year.

Corina turned a deck of cards into a cute Gratitude Journal (52 cards in deck means one card for each week, with a line for each day provided). Head here to get all the details on this fun project.

If you’re ready to go BIG with this idea, then take a trip over to the Tried and True Blog where you’ll find all the instructions and printables that you’ll need to create this Thanksgiving Gratitude Calendar. Vanessa says that she originally made this for the Thanksgiving season, but her family loved it so much that it ended up staying around for the whole year.

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7 scary science experiments for little learners

October 14, 2014
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It’s always helpful when you can incorporate a little fun with learning. Since we are in the midst of Halloween season, we thought it would be perfect to scare up a few creepy science experiments that teach as well as entertain.

spooky science experiments

These inventive experiments use mostly common household items…  so, let the spine-chilling & spooky lessons begin!

Malia of Playdough to Plato shows you how easy it is to teach the concept of a convection current with her adorable Flying Tea Bag Ghosts. She recommends using a bag that’s slightly on the thicker side (such as Tazo) for the best results.

Notice anything strange about these heads of Napa cabbage? These Vegetable Vampires have got a little capillary action going on! You’ll find this and lots of other fun experiments in Liz Heinecke’s book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids.

You can turn a package of gummy worms into Electric Eeels! To find out the secret behind this wacky and weird experiment, head over to the Bitz & Giggles Blog where Sara tells all.

Transform your jack-o-lantern into an amazing Erupting Pumpkin with a little baking soda and vinegar. Just add your  own choice of food coloring for a spectacular show.

How can you make a paper ghost dance? With the magic of static electricity! Grab some tissue paper and a balloon, then  head over to  Inspiration Laboratories to get all the details on this fun project.

Ready to explore the different parts of the brain? You’ll find 5 Messy Ways to Play Brain Surgery on the Left Brain Craft Brain Blog.

Steph from Crafting In The Rain demonstrates how you can use Dry Ice to make a quarter dance and a hammer squeal. Sound like your kind of fun? Then definitely check out her demo videos here.

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pennants, posies and pom poms

September 29, 2014
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I’ve slowly been working on some fun DIY nursery projects over the past few months to make Lolo’s nursery a wonderland of whimsy.  There is no particular theme for her room but I will say pennants, posies and pom poms are well represented.

The first project was dressing up our curtains.  I liked the look of our office curtains so I snatched up some butter colored ones and added pink pom poms to girly them up a bit.  The curtain rods are just wood dowels striped in washi tape.

diy nursery curtains

I do love the colors and textures of yarn but don’t have the patience to be a knitter so I resort to wrapping.  I got this large letter M at a crafts supply store and popped over to pinterest to learn how to make felt flowers.

diy yarn letter Big surprise ~ another yarn project.  This mobile doesn’t have sound or light, but Lolo does love watching it.  I chose the yarn based on color but the textures are all a little different which I think makes the mobile a bit more playful.  I had a general plan for this project, but decided on lengths and sizes of pom poms as I went along.  The base is a 14 inch embroidery hoop.

diy pom pom mobile

And now for the pennants… because they make everything more festive!  This fabric pack actually inspired the colors of the nursery.  I love how these fat quarter assortments have a color theme with complimentary patterns.  A perfect place to build a color story for a room.

I’m not a huge fan of sewing, which is why I love stitch witchery!  I grabbed this pattern, a sharp scissors, iron and was off!

diy pennants

Now that you’ve got the behind the scenes craft pass… stay tuned for the nursery tour tomorrow!

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8 artful ways to light up the night

September 11, 2014
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Whether it’s a twinkling string of lights or a glowing lantern, there’s just something so magical about outdoor lights.

outdoor diy lighting

These unique and clever DIY Outdoor Light projects will not only light your way, they’ll add that extra special element of style to any outdoor space….

These DIY Paper Punch Luminaries would look so nice lining a porch or driveway. You will find the instructions on the Design Improvised Blog and Haeley used LED battery powered pillar candles (then you don’t have to worry about a fire hazard).

diy lighting

Now is the perfect time to score a couple of wire planters on sale that you can use to make this gorgeous glowing orb for your own moon dance this fall.  From the Blue Shed walks you through this easy process step by step.

Can you guess what Cheryl used to make these DIY Solar Lights? Spice jars and glass paint! Head over to her blog, Cheryl Style, to get the lowdown on this budget friendly project.

No need to stop enjoying dinner on the deck when the days get shorter.  Grab a bargain chandelier at a thrift shop and transform it into a stunning solar light source.  Hop over to Home Jelly for all the details.

Check out this DIY Constellation Jar . It was made using a few items that you probably already have around the house. This fun project from Design Mom is completely customizable–add your favorite constellations or come up with your creative designs.

Next time you whip up a batch of tuna salad, don’t toss that can…Diane from In My Own Style can show you how to transform it into an Outdoor Tuna Can Lantern. They’re a more refined alternative to tiki torches and come in well under budget at $2.70 each.

Here’s another spin on the can idea….this time with a coffee can. Nicole from 365ish Pins made these DIY Tin Can Lanterns with her homeschool co-op when they were studying colonial life, but we think they’d look absolutely outstanding at any outdoor party too!

star

It’s really amazing how adding something simple can create a whole new mood. A perfect example is this dressed up strand of white lights that Lia created– her DIY Paper Foil Starry Lights add all kinds of ambiance to any setting. She shares all the details on her Handcraft Your Life blog.

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create a cozy reading nook for your kiddo

August 26, 2014
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If your little ones have not already returned to the classroom–they will be soon! Now is the right time to create a space that is all their own….one that encourages them to relax and read (and *fingers crossed*, it just may become a habit).

diy reading nooks

A corner of a room that’s stacked with some comfy pillows and maybe a few shelves is all it really takes, but for anyone ready to go a step further–we found a few projects that might inspire you….

I love the addition of the lights above this Whimsy Reading Nook that we found on Mommy Mentionables. This reading space is truly fit for a princess :)

If you’ve got an unused fireplace or recessed area in your home–Emily from Life, Unstyled shows you how simple it is to turn it into a Cozy Reading Retreat.

Can you guess what this used to be? Randi from Dukes and Duchesses turned an old dresser into an inviting, Colorful Reading Bench for her son.

The Reading Chair that Kirstin from Kojodesigns created from two wooden palettes looks sooooo comfy. This project comes in way under budget when you consider the fact that they used discarded palettes from a big box store (just make sure you ask first).

Boys and girls alike will fall in love with this No-Sew Teepee. Ashley from the Handmade Home saw one of these in a mall and came up with her own version–and it has now become the official reading teepee at her house.

A really great way to organize any reading space is with these Rain Gutter Bookshelves. Again, very simple and very budget-friendly–this project comes in at under $20. Lily from Restoration Beauty also points out kids tend to read more when they can see the fronts of the their books as opposed to the spine.

This empty closet was transformed into a Big Girl Reading Nook. You can read all about the step by step process by checking out Megan’s post on her blog, Balancing Home.

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delightful diy wedding shower

August 9, 2014
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I enjoy hosting parties… especially girly ones so when my friend, Suzanne got engaged recently I volunteered my nest for some wedding shower fun.

tulle pom pom garland

First, the garland.  I believe this sets the tone for a festive environment.  Whether it’s party pennants, paper streamers, or puffy posies… stringing this happiness through the house says ‘party time’.

diy tulle garland

I chose to make my pretty puffs with tulle.  I’ve made poms with tissue paper before, but honestly using tulle was quicker and it’s less fragile so I’ll be able to use this garland again at future functions.  For 7 inch puffs I wrapped the 6″ wide tulle ribbon around a 7 inch book 16-17 times and tied it in the center with yarn.  20 yard spools of tulle will give you 3 puffs.

tulle pom poms

After tying in the middle leave the strings long so you can tie it on your garland.  Cut each side of the tied tulle and fluff.  Repeat accordingly.  Then tie your puffs to the yarn or ribbon you plan hanging them on.  String wherever you want a bit of happiness.

zinnia flowers

Flowers also always fancy things up a bit and I was so happy it was zinnia season because I scored 4 giant bouquets at our local farmers market for less than $20!  These pretties looked perfect in aqua tinted mason jars and I gave a few of our guests these arrangements if they scored a lucky plate with surprise markings on the bottom. washi tape wreath supplies

Now on to more crafting… Suzanne’s wedding colors are coral & aqua.  So the original plan was to have all the shower guests apply washi tape to clothespins to create this memory wreath.  I played around with it at first to make sure my vision would work and quickly realized that I better do it ahead of time instead.

diy washi tape wreath

It’s easy enough to apply the washi tape to the clothespins, however positioning and gluing them to the embroidery hoop was where technical difficulty occurred.  Even after drawing out the 10.5 inch circle size on a pizza box and testing out the spacing… it was still tricky hot gluing the 56 clothespins on.  I tried to stay consistent in where I glued each pin and also staggered every other one so the clip part was facing in and then out.

washi tape clothespin wreath

It did end up turning out okay but some pins were definitley more slanted than others.  I hung it with a ribbon tied through the top of the embroidery hoop and had each guest write down a few words or a sentence about a special memory they had with the bride.   We clipped them to wreath for a lovely keepsake gift.  There are plenty more spots on the wreath to clip future memories or blessings the bride will want to remember or celebrate.

washi tape cards

Since Suzanne was a guest at a baby shower I hosted last fall, she did have a couple requests for her special gathering — one of them involving crafting.  This gathering was considerably larger than the previous baby shower so I did some serious pinterest perusing and found something hopefully everyone would feel comfortable doing.  I came up with these diy favors.  Everyone got a pack of 4 colorful blank notecards (one card already washi taped up), 3 clothespins with magnets adhered to the back (one already covered in washi tape) and a party pennant pen.

wash tape card ideas

I did up a variety of card designs so the guests would have some ideas with what to do on their other 3 cards.

washi tape Each table had a bowl of assorted tapes and scissors and I was totally impressed with the creativity of our guests!  The clothesline design won my blue ribbon… how cute would that be for baby card!? I also love that Suzanne’s mom’s flower card totally matches her blouse ;-)

cookie bar Since all my crafting got a little out of control, I delegated the dessert to a few of our friends who graciously offered to help out.  I remember seeing this ‘cookie bar’ idea for graduation open houses and thought it was so clever.  So I we had six different delicious cookies the guests could indulge in.  Knowing we would have many left over, I purchased cello treat bags they could fill up and take home with them along with the recipes of all the cookies offered.  Steve was hoping to come home to feast on these leftover sweets, but I have to say the gals only left him a few crumbs.  This worked great as an additional favor for our guests.

wedding shower food Other eats included fruit kabobs, chicken pasta salad, artisan greens with feta, strawberries, grapes, candied walnuts and dried cranberries with poppyseed dressing, berry cups and lemon blueberry muffins.

girls wedding shower

tiaras and mustaches wedding shower game After dining & crafting we returned inside for a silly game of mustaches and tiaras.  Another friend worked out all the game details and I transformed kabob sticks and fun foam into amusing props our guests needed to participate.

suzanne and  nathan All in all it was a fun and memorable afternoon celebrating Suzanne and the exciting next chapter of her life with best beau Nathan.

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beat the summertime boredom blues with an empty cardboard box

August 5, 2014
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So…you’ve run out of ideas to keep the kids busy this summer? As you will see below-some of the most fun activities can start with just a simple, empty cardboard box.

8ways

No matter how ambitious you are, we’ve rounded up the perfect project for you and your little ones to tackle–everything from an inventive cardboard box camera to a cardboard box airplane.

Once you create this cool Shadow Puppet Theater using the instructions from Jennifer on Classic Play, the kids can re-enact a favorite fairy tale or better yet–ask them to come up with their own creative storyline.

Boys and girls alike will spend hours playing with this clever Cardboard Box Toy Box. The Little Red Window Blog also includes photo ideas for furnishing this cute little house!

Say cheese! Got an aspiring little photographer at your house? Now you can make them their own Cardboard Box Camera using the easy instructions provided by Leslie on her Pink Stripey Socks Blog. She says this project was inspired by her son eating cheese and wanting to touch her camera.

Get ready for take off….please your little pilot by whipping up a Cardboard Box Airplane. Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me said that making this took only around 30 minutes and her kids played with it for over 2 hours.

If your little ones would rather take to the open seas than fly into the great blue sky, then this Cardboard Box Pirate Ship is just the ticket.  Michelle from MollyMoo got her idea after taking her kids to see the latest Tinkerbell & The Pirate Fairy Story at the movies.

There’s a reason the blog is called Make It & Love It…who wouldn’t love these cool Cardboard Guitars???  They’re perfect for any aspiring rock star :)

If you’ve got an extra computer box in the garage or basement, head over to Frugal Fun for Boys and find out how to make a Skee Ball Game with it. It’s a nice activity for those summer days when it rains or when it’s just too hot to play outside.

Ready to cook up some fun? Brooke from The Intentional Mom took a box leftover from their move and turned it into a cute play kitchen for her daughter–complete with a kitchen sink!

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get your game on in the great outdoors

July 15, 2014
By

We’ve found the cure for summertime blues…by now you’ve probably heard more than once, “Mom, I’m bored!”

summer fun activities

It’s time to take the fun outside and with these entertaining games you can get the entire family in on the action.

Now you can take this great family classic and play it on your lawn. Half of the fun with this DIY Yard Yahtzee is making the game pieces.  Roll on over to The Pinning Mama to get the full instructions on making this for your own family.

Everyone will love taking their turn at this DIY Ring Toss Game. Sara from Mom Endeavors points out that this is perfect for summer picnics and family reunions.

Wanna learn how to turn your backyard into a giant gameboard? Create a Giant Lawn Matching Game using cork tiles and spray paint. Kelly spills all her secrets for making this kid-friendly game on her blog, Studio DIY (along with all the printables for creating the shapes on the game pieces).

Here’s a great use for baby food jar lids (or any other jar lids that you may have saved up)…Sidewalk Chalk Checkers. According to Rebecca, all you need is sandpaper, paint/paint brushes, and sidewalk chalk to construct this gameboard in front of your own home.

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without adding a few bubbles into the mix. But, these Rainbow Bubble Snakes aren’t just your ordinary bubbles! Head over to Housing A Forest to find out how easy it is to incorporate this fun activity into your next free sunny afternoon :)

sponge

Who needs a pool when the kids can play all day with these Sponge Bombs? Splishing, puddle splashing, and sponge bomb tag are just a few of the ways Erika’s kids found to enjoy these wet wonders. She explains how cheap and easy it is to make these on her blog~Musings from a Stay At Home Mom.

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celebrating best of detroit

June 16, 2014
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We are honored to have been voted Best Gift Shop for 8 years in a row by the hip & happening HOUR Detroit Magazine.

best of detroit 2014

A BIG THANK YOU to our firefly fans for supporting our shops over the years and allowing us to make your days brighter.  Without faithful fans like you, we wouldn’t exist so the real award really goes to you!

best of detroit 2014

One tradition we’ve started to celebrate our win is creating a dress from the ‘Best of Detroit’ cover for one of our crazy mannequins at our Berkley location.  This year’s theme was smash hits and all photography was inspired by ‘behind the scenes’ of iconic album covers… like David Bowie’s Aladdin  Sane.  

best of detroit 2014

We also like to take this time to thank our team members who create our happy and inspiring environments every day of the week. So we invite the gals to join us at the very festive and fun Best of Detroit Party.  This is where our second tradition comes into play ~ clever invites.  In past years we have sent actual large bouncy balls, spray painted heels and even plastic wine glasses.  I always fear I will run out of ideas for happy mail, but a walk around the dollar store always spurs on new ideas…

creative invitations This year I went with something a little safer (since not all our plastic wine glasses made it to their destination last year)  These pretties were easy to put together and were good to go ‘as is’ with some help from some packaging tape.  I think this invitation concept could be fun for a variety of parties… and your guests will know it’s gonna be a good time if they get a creative invite like this :-)

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty.  Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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