let’s get crafty

8 artful ways to light up the night

September 11, 2014

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!


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

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

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

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

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 :)


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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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