let’s get crafty

celebrating best of detroit

June 16, 2014

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

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.


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.


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.

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

let’s celebrate the class of 2014

May 28, 2014

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

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.

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

make everyday earth day

April 17, 2014

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.


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.

Like discovering helpful tips on the world wide web?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our brightest finds.

my office makeover

April 15, 2014

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 makeoverFirst… 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 storyThe 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 makeoverI 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 curtainSpeaking 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 curtainI 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 makeoverIt 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 decorI 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 frameAll 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 decorI’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. ;-)

Like to see where I spend my time away from catching fireflies?  Then sign up to receive blog posts like these in your email inbox HERE

celebrate spring with beautiful blossoms

April 1, 2014

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.

six ways to update your home for spring

March 26, 2014

Last week we were counting down the days until Spring, and here we are a week later counting down the days until it actually FEELS like Spring here! It’s coming–butterflies, warmer temps, and beautiful blossoms. Also, for many, time for a little spring cleaning and freshening up things around the house.

diy spring wreaths

Check out these easy and creative DIY spring wreaths that you can assemble in an afternoon to add a little punch to your front door or wall…

dahliaYou can make this colorful Dahlia Paper Wreath  for under $10.  Just head over to Mommy of Two Little Monkeys and Amanda will walk you through the easy process.

Abbey from The Cards We Drew took a few sheets of scrapbook paper and a straw wreath form to make this cute and colorful Spring Pinwheel Wreath. We love the possibilities of endless color combinations on this one!

Burlap isn’t just for fall. Laura from Top This Top That  not only shows us how to use it to make this cheery Springtime Wreath with it–she also includes ideas on how to change the base wreath from season to season.

Take a simple grapevine wreath to the next level with the addition of blossoms and a bow. Melissa from Polka Dot Chair shows you how easy it is to whip up this Tulip Wreath here.

Chelsea from the Making Home Base Blog used an old wall planter to assemble this lovely Spring Floral Door Hanging. Take a look in the basement or garage to see what treasures you could transform in the same way.

A Peeps Wreath! Again, the possibilities here are endless as far as color…mix and match your faves or stick with one shade, it’s your call! Take a trip over to Tried and True where Vanessa will show you how to convert these confections into a new way to decorate your home.

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

fluffy frosting & festive flags

March 17, 2014

Since we were hosting a birthday sale this past weekend, I couldn’t resist whipping up some cute mini cupcakes to offer our firefly fans.  I’ve always been a box cake girl, but when it comes to frosting I usually turn to my grandma’s recipe.

cupcake birthday buntingIf you’re not a fan of super sweet or thick frosting this recipe is for you!  In my opinion the texture of this tasty topping is quite divine and it’s just sweet enough to compliment the cake flavor.  (as many of our firefly fans can attest to!)

Here’s what you need:

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons of flour

1/2 cup Crisco

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

frosting recipe

First, heat the milk and flour on the stove and stir constantly until it thickens.  Let cool completely.  (I often put the pan in the freezer or fridge to speed up the cooling process)

Next, mix the Crisco, butter, sugar and vanilla.  Once creamed, add the cooled flour and milk mixture and beat on high until fluffy.  Spread on your favorite cake and enjoy!
favorite fluffy frosting recipeInspired by our recent diy birthday decoration post, I decided to add some cuteness to our platter of pretty cupcakes.  I often do things on a whim so I managed to scrounge up some kabob sticks in the back of one of my kitchen drawers, pulled out some washi tape and stole some dental floss from our bathroom to make these party pennants.

cupcake bunting

It really was an easy project to pull off and definitely turns up the festivity dial a bit…. which got me thinking to do something similar with toothpicks.

washi tape cupcake flagsBy the time I was playing with these it was far too late to embark on making over a hundred to send off to the stores, but I’ll store this idea away for another day.

Like to host pretty parties?  Simply subscribe to this blog and we’ll email you our latest creative endeavors.

diy decor for a birthday bash

March 11, 2014

With the one year celebration of our Ann Arbor location and our Rochester store  approaching its 8th year in business–we’ve got birthday on the brain around here.

diy birthday decorations

What better way to celebrate than pass along a few fancy DIY birthday decorations that we found on the web! Check out the all the colorful ways you can celebrate in style…

Save a little dough by making your own banner.  You can find all the instructions (plus a template) by heading over to Rain on a Tin Roof.

The Tissue Tassel Garland Cake Topper that we discovered on Something Turquoise is suitable for any soiree.  You can adjust it to any color scheme.


Rachel Hollis from The Chic Site devised a cute and colorful way to use all of those leftover cupcake wrappers in your cabinet. This project only requires three supplies: a needle, thread, and your leftover wrappers. You’ll be well on your way to creating the cutest party garland ever!


Dress up a plain glass vase with a some colorful wrapping paper and leftover ribbon and you’ve created a lovely modern tablescape!  The Hostess With The Mostess shares all of her secrets here.

Set a colorful foundation for your guests by adding one of these DIY Splatter Paint Popsicle Stick Runners into your mix. This is a seriously easy project…popsicle sticks are taped together underneath and then randomly splattered with paint. Such a great result for very little effort.

You won’t be able to keep your friends away from this cute photo booth…the eye-catching backdrop is made of  plastic tablecloths and costs less than $10 to make! Find the detailed instructions for this project on the For The Love Of… blog.

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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