let’s get crafty

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
By

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.

cardboard box toys

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.

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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
By

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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say “I love you dad” with a gift from the heart

June 10, 2014
By

Fresh out of ideas for Father’s Day? This year surprise dad with a handmade present…get the kiddos in on the action!

diy dads gifts

They will love being part of the process. Just pick your favorite, gather your supplies and in no time–you’ll have a very unique gift for dad on his special day.

Meet the manly version of the flower bouquet….a collection of all dad’s favorite treats! You will find the complete instructions on the One Creative Mommy Blog.

Break out the art supplies and let the little ones go wild decorating these Creative Neckties for Dad. Head over to Meet the Dubiens to get all the details on this fun DIY Father’s Day craft for kids.

Do you remember this fun activity from way back when? We found the instructions for this cool retro craft–a  Shrinky Dink Money Clip over on the BuzzMills Blog.

amanda

How would you describe your dad? This year you can create an entire collection of Father’s Day Hero Stones and let him know exactly you feel.  These rock paperweights will also come in handy for his desk at the office.  You’ll find all the details on Crafts by Amanda.

Here’s a way to help dad keep track of his keys…you can spell out whatever you’d like on this DIY Father’s Day Key Chain.  Head over the the HelloBee Blog where you will see how this cute craft can be done in just a few minutes.

Does your dad dream of roaming the aisles at Home Depot? With an old glass jar, a store ad and a few other supplies you can create a useful  Tool Bench Pencil Holder to store his supplies.  This ingenious idea came from the No Time for Flash Cards Blog.

glued

Don’t forget to make dad a card–little feet and handprints add the finishing touches to this cute Superhero Father’s Day Card that Stacey shares on her blog, Glued to My Crafts.

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let’s celebrate the class of 2014

May 28, 2014
By

Summer ushers in all kinds of celebrations every year~weddings, cookouts, and of course…graduations.

grad party ideas

Trying to find few fancy decorations to add a little flair to your graduation party? Then, look no further! We’ve got you covered with everything from free printables to an alternative guest book…

You can load up this Graduation Cap Cupcake Stand with all kinds of tasty goodies for your guests. Check out the tutorial on One Simple Bliss (and don’t forget to customize this with your own school  colors).

Stumped for table centerpiece ideas? Take a cue from Jaime on Raising up Rubies and create these Cupcake Paper Flowers. There are two things I love about these…you can totally customize the look you want and these can be made well ahead of time (no running to the florist at the last minute).

Instead of a traditional guest book, pick up a t shirt with the name of the college that the graduate will be attending and have friends sign that instead. This cool memento won’t end up on a dusty bookshelf someday. See this along with other great grad party ideas over on the Work In Progress Kits Blog.

Hook up your guests with a cute backdrop for their snapshots. The empty frame in the foreground is hung with fishing wire and creates the perfect place to strike a pose.  Head on over to You Are My Fave for a full explanation of the setup.

You can greet your guests with sweet memories of the graduate if you make a DIY Graduation Wreath. Again, with this being completely customizable you can let your imagination run wild. Family and friends will love this little trip down memory lane.

Take advantage of the clever free Graduation Party Printables that we found on Love The Day. The combination of orange and aqua will lend a fresh, modern look to your party decor.

One more unique way for guests to leave well-wishes for the grad…this large-scale “diploma” provides the perfect place for attendees to jot down a quick inspirational note for your student. We found this inventive idea over on the Unhistoric Acts Blog.

Do you like putting on parties that are pretty? We’re happy to share some of our unique finds from the web.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop

plenty of free printables for mother’s day

April 24, 2014
By

On May 11 we will celebrating moms everywhere! Leave it to some of the amazing bloggers out there to come up with some free printables for the occasion. mothers day printables

 

We found everything from a cute coupon booklet to some magnificent mom quotes that really say it all (just print and pop into a frame).

Does your mom dig M&M’s? Print out this tag and the attached questions and share a sweet treat with her. Who knows….you may find out something you didn’t know about her! The cute idea is courtesy of Pam & Lisa from Over The Big Moon.

It’s something we’ve heard all of our lives from mom…”wash your hands”. Sound advice–now show her you were actually listening! This Hand Sanitizer Printable from the Happy Home Fairy is very budget friendly (coming in at around $1).

Penny Pinchin Mom sure knows the way to mom’s heart…a little pampering and a little help around the house. This coupon booklet can be personalized by kids adding that extra special heartfelt touch that all moms love.

This Mother’s Day Chalkboard Printable from Nest of Posies really captures the meaning of motherhood and would look lovely framed upon her tabletop or wall.

If you’re looking for something with more of a modern feel, check out the Ombre Mother’s Day Printable over on Simply Designing with Ashley. Just print, trim and put into an 8×10 frame and you’re good to go.

If you’re planning on baking up some cupcakes for mom this year, add a few of  these free printable Cupcake Toppers from Sweet Rose Studio.

Make mom queen for the day…she deserves a little rest and relaxation, after all! Present her with a Mother’s Day Room Service Door Hanger so she can custom order breakfast in bed.  Kim from Seven Thirty Three shares this cool printable here.

This may just be the best badge of honor ever.  A reward for all she does–day in and day out. You can also use this Free Mother’s Day Ribbon Printable from No Biggie to create a magnet that mom can display all year long.

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make everyday earth day

April 17, 2014
By

Although, the “official” celebration of Earth Day is on April 22, there are still lots of small things that we can do throughout the year to practice a little “green living”.  The whole idea behind many of these tips is that the items you need to use for them are things that you probably already have at home. green living tips

In the long run, this translates as less waste and fewer chemicals that can have a negative effect on our good green Earth. Here are a few nifty ideas to get you started…

Check out Alea’s tips for going green in the bathroom~ you’ll everything from homemade cleansers to recommended products on her blog, Premeditated Leftovers.

Learn all about the wonders of vinegar on Simply Rebekah.  Guest poster Stacy Karen names off the top ten ways you can use this non-toxic and inexpensive ingredient to sanitize, clean, and deodorize your home.

Just in time for the Easter Bunny…Carissa from Creative Green Living shares her secret on how to make this festive Easter Egg Candles. What a unique addition to your holiday dinner table!

We can’t wait for things to start turning green again, but that also means wonderful weeds will start coming to the party too.  DIY Natural shares some tips to keep them at bay the natural way.

Save your pennies while helping save the Earth. These Eco-Friendly Piggy Banks are made from empty salt and baking powder containers. We found this pretty project on the Family Sponge Blog.

You’ll be picking up a whole bag of lemons at your next grocery stop after hearing 30 different ways you can use these colorful citrus fruits from Go Green America.

green2

Whether you are a bride-to-be or helping someone plan the wedding of their dreams, you’ll find tons of tips for an Earth-friendly wedding on The Wedding Party Blog.  These Wishing Stones are a great alternative to the traditional guest book and the couple can permanently display them in their new home as a sentimental wedding keepsake.

Never spend another cent on dryer sheets. Make your own Wool Dryer Balls using the easy instructions over on Healthy Living How To. Not only are they re-usable, they are a non-toxic and chemical-free solution that’s easy to incorporate into a common household chore.

We all know that coffee grounds are great for composting but did you know all the other things you can do with them before they make it to their final destination?  The Earthy Mama shares her ten top picks.

Garden season will be here before you know it… and so will the bugs who like to nibble on your precious plants.  Scare them away the natural way with this solution from Weed ‘em and Reap that won’t harm your plants or the people eating them.

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my office makeover

April 15, 2014
By

Steve and I will have lived in our 1950′s cape cod for a total of 10 years this summer.  We have done some remodeling and moving things around a bit over that span of time but one room was always ignored… our office.  It had an old love seat (aka our basset hound’s bed), extra coffee table, Ikea saw horse desk and a small file cabinet.  It worked but it was over crowed and not so pretty.

home office ideas

I think it was a combination of our office organization blog post, a way too long winter and our Rochester store facelift that inspired me to change it up finally.

office makeover First… the inspiration.  When I remodeled the shops recently I always began with a blank sheet of graph paper so I can see the space with fresh eyes.  Even though this is a much smaller project, this helped me figure out what my options were for desk & furniture placement.

I’ve had this funny Kathleen Taylor canvas in our office for a while and have always loved the color story.  It’s what made me paint the walls aqua and the desk top orange.

I like to collect other complimentary paint sample cards for accent color ideas.

And then there is my chair fabric.  I know traditional office chairs are probably far better for body posture but I opted for the cuteness factor instead with this sweet slipper chair from target online.  My friend chose something similar for her home office and after seeing it I knew I needed to say goodbye to my old office depot roller.

office color story The colors I went with were from Miss Martha and were called Feldspar and Butterscotch.  We wanted a double desk so we ended up buying two hollow doors and three filing cabinets to lay them on top of.  I also rolled  thin coat of poly acrylic over on the desk so it will wear a little better over time.

office makeover I originally planned on spray painting the used file cabinets an olive green, however the place I found on craiglists actually had three matching Steelcase ones that were already a muted teal green so they worked.  (Please ignore the dirty window.  Storms are coming off  as soon as it stops snowing in April!  arghhhh)

diy tie up curtain Speaking of windows… since the desk was flush against the one window I improvised by creating a my own ‘tie-up’ curtain.  I’ve found Cost Plus World Market to have the cutest curtain collection.  These were light weight so I  folded them in half & safety pinned the bottom to the top.

I cut two 5 foot ribbons and looped them over the top.

make your own tie curtain I accordion folded the curtain from the bottom a few times, clipped it in place then tied the ribbons to the desired length.  I slipped a 1/2 inch dowel through to give it a little weight and voila ~ a cheap and easy tie shade with no sewing involved.

office makeover It was fun mixing up the patterns with complimenting colors.  It just makes the office feel happy.  The turquoise dresser was a flea market find and came naturally distressed painted that fabulous color.  The rug and dog pad came from Home Goods.  Steve’s office chair came from my mom’s basement (which could double for a flea market/antique shop)

diy home office decor I couldn’t say goodbye to my old (Martha inspired) ribbon bulletin board I made in college so I snuck it in behind the door that is usually open all the time.  I did add three colorful clipboards I got at our shop to display some quotes that currently speak to me.  I like how easy they are to change out and update from time to time.

Gus has finally adjusted to being downgraded to a dog bed since he lost his couch.  (He’s quite comfortable with his masculinity so he’s ok that with his pad being a little girly)

diy window frame

Since we removed all the old windows from our Rochester store during the facelift, I took some of them home to create large frames.  This one was perfect for showcasing our four shops.  The sculpted ceramic heart in the middle reads, catching fireflies and was made by my talented friend, Karen Fincannon.

diy window frame All I did was put a couple picture hanging hooks on the back of the window.  I sized & printed photos to fit the panes and taped them to the backside of the window with scotch tape.  For aesthetics I covered the scotch tape by adhering washi tape on the front of the window so it appears that it’s holding the photo in place… even though the image is really behind the glass.

office decor I’m sorta on a Ikea photo ledge kick lately.  I like stacking a variety of frames, art and objects together in an organized, yet artful way.  Steve commissioned this lovely painting of our two shops in Berkley by Kandy Myny of Bit O Whimsey for me a few years ago.  It fits perfectly in our new office paired with with some vintage and new a.i. paper design wares.

This low cost makeover did take some energy and effort, but it has completely changed the feeling of the room.  I spend quite a bit of time in this space and don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.  You should love where you spend your time.  Sometimes all it takes is a gallon of paint, a few thrift store finds and a trip to Ikea to give your nest a new look…. well that and maybe a few fun treasures at catching fireflies too. ;-)

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celebrate spring with beautiful blossoms

April 1, 2014
By

Are you a big fan of flowers? As we enter into the season of budding bulbs and fragrant blooms, we’d like to share some of the coolest flower crafts that we found on the web. flower crafts

These clever bloggers reveal how to make everything from a dreamy floral crown to the perfect pom-pom posey…

Caitlin from The Merry Thought crafted this DIY Floral Crown using a vine wreath from the Dollar Store–such an enchanting accessory for your favorite woodland fairy!

Brighten up a boring desktop with some Daisy Flower Paper Clips–they’re also great way to use up some fabric scraps you’ve got laying around the house. Get all the details on A Pumpkin and a Princess.

Craft your very own bouquet that’s guaranteed not to wilt. Crepe Paper Flowers make the perfect surprise for Mother’s Day and are easy enough for kids to make.  Rebecca from The Art of Simple shares her  tips and tricks for creating your own unique bunch of blossoms.

Gather up some fabric scraps, a few random beads or sequins and you’ve got some super sweet flower hair pins.  Visit CraftStylish for step by step instructions.

These fluffy Pom Pom Flowers look like they came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! Sarah from Dill Pickle Design created these for her wedding centerpieces and has now incorporated them into her home decor. They’re uniquely modern and whimsical.

Update your outfit with a snazzy Fabric Flower Hair Clip.  We found the easy directions for this project on the Capitol Romance Blog (photo by Gabe Aceves).

Breathe new life into barren branches by converting them into a vase full of  flourishing flowers.  Haeley from Design Improvised will show you how easy it is to create these Paper Flowers and bring a little Spring into your home right now.

Like to get a little crafty every now & then?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our latest creative endeavors.

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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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