Handmade Butterfly Mobile

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

In one of my last posts I mentioned that for a baby shower I attended I made a butterfly mobile as my gift to the expectant mother. It’s no secret that I prefer handmade over store bought, and when I saw that this mobile from Pottery Barn Kids had been registered for… the wheels started turning in a pretty much irreversible way. I thought, “I wonder if I could make that?” and it was all over from there.

I set out on this project with no real plan in mind, because 1) I’ve never attempted a project like this before and 2) there were no helpful step-by-step tutorial that I could find. I pillaged on. I purchased some paper, a butterfly die cut punch (this project was pre-Silhouette), and just started.

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

I punched a lot of butterflies. I don’t even know how many.

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

I found that translucent beading thread was the best way to hang the butterflies. I used one of my quilling tools to punch two tiny holes in every single butterfly and threaded each butterfly onto the string by hand.

I adore meticulous projects like this. I just get lost in the details in a beautiful way.

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

The mobile top was a wooden hoop like you use for cross stitching. They are very inexpensive. I painted it light pink to match the butterflies. I must admit that the whole time I was working on this project, I had no idea how it was going to turn out. It was definitely the kind of project that you just have to do.

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

I strung the butterflies on alternating lengths of string — from 14″ to 22″. I used our two stools to suspend the mobile. I liken this part of the process to arranging flowers. You just have to start sticking things in the vase and move them around to see how everything is going to look.

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

 handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

handmade butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

I love, love, love how the mobile turned out and it was a humongous hit at the shower. A lot of people I work with don’t know I craft-by-night, so that was fun. I will definitely be making another mobile in the future — I have plenty of ideas, and now that I have the Silhouette Cameo cutting out more die will be a breeze

butterfly mobile | sweetandsavorylife.com

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

-S

Our Coffee Table Saga

living room copy

The definition of ‘bare bones.’

So… I don’t know if I’ve told you this yet or not, but up until a month ago, our coffee table was a plastic container. You know, like the ones you buy from Walmart to stuff linens in, or old t-shirts, or whatever else you seem to accumulate? Yeah. We moved into our new apartment in May, bought some awesome furniture and used a $8 storage container as the focal point of our living room for almost five months.

That’s just how we roll.

In all seriousness, I just could not stomach spending $200 on a regular looking coffee table when I knew we could make something similar and love it even more. Decorating and nesting has been an interesting journey for me — I love getting inspiration from different stores and Pinterest boards, but I’m learning something about myself: I’m stubborn when it comes to this stuff. If I have even a tiny inkling that I can make something instead of buy it, I refuse to spend any money. I have definitely learned you have to pick these battles, even with yourself, but in the end… I always love homemade anything over store bought anything.

palettetable_after_blog_2

Over the summer, Shelton came across this DIY from Mr. Kate (ah — such a cute blog — love her s.t.y.l.e) and I became obsessed (read: OBsessed) with the idea of a coffee table with Tiffany-blue legs. Couldn’t get it out of my head. We stole some pallets, but it turns out it’s easier to embark on a project that requires lots of tools + space if you have a garage to work in. We had to scrap the pallet idea halfway through because it was just too labor intensive (pick your battles, remember). Plus, once July/August kicked in and we were both working 6 days a week/10-12 hours a day… the idea of wrestling with pallets in the North Carolina humidity just wasn’t appealing. At all. We kept using the plastic container.

Then it was announced that Mom and Janie would visit in October! We knew we had to get our booties (or is it bootys?) in gear and start doing some real work to make our apartment a cozy home. In a stroke of luck, earlier in the summer we had contacted Ashley Furniture about a blemish in one of our end tables and they gave us two replacement tops. Since the endtables are quite large, we decided it made sense to use one table top as the top of the coffee table. Then all the wood would match, too.

After a few trips to Lowe’s and a few evenings of work, our coffee table was finished. In the end I estimate that we spent around $70 on supplies. I am so happy with the result though — it was worth the wait!

Scroll down for list of supplies we used.

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

We bought a long piece of wood and had Lowe’s cut it down for us in 4″x4″ squares. We used wood glue to adhere the wood squares to the underside of the table top. This helped reinforce the table legs.

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

diy coffee table | sweetandsavorylife.com

Just in case you were wondering, the answer is no. I don’t miss the plastic storage container. Not one bit.

-S

Supplies

Valspar 12-oz Tropical Oasis High-Gloss Spray Paint

Waddell 15-1/4-in Country Pine Traditional Wood Table Leg

Blue Hawk 2-Count 5/16-in x 2-in Zinc-Plated Hanger Bolts

Waddell 3-in Table Leg Straight Top Plate

We Chicken Wired A Wall

chicken wired wall | sweetandsavorylife.com

Because, well, why the hell not?

If you ever have the opportunity to walk into our apartment — this is the first thing you’ll see.

It makes me so happy, and I love how interchangeable it can be.

Inspired by Under the Sycamore.

A Visit From The Queen & Princess

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My mom and sister visited last weekend! It was epic. For many, many reasons.

First of all, any time we’re all together, there is never ever really a plan but somehow we always have a kick-ass time.

pallet headboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Secondly, Mom and Janie visiting meant that Shelton and I were forced to get our apartment whipped into shape! How do you like my make-shift pallet headboard? It was painfully easy to make. You just take two pallets… and prop them up against the wall. Set some pictures on top that you are too lazy to hang haven’t hung yet and wah-lah! All done.

My mom says that everyone should have the “Queen” come once a year. She’s right. It does wonders for your home.

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We promptly went for drinks. Sup Crushes at Sup Dogs — our favorite Greenville haunt.

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Rocked some blue hair. Got shitfaced tipsy. Had a conversation about Frasier and the importance it is to have a burger without interruptions. Don’t ask.

Moral of the story: Don’t drink and then talk nonsense with your eyes closed, because people that say they love you will record you and make you watch it the next day after you’ve sobered up.

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As always, the trips are too short. But the family time was just so needed. I enjoy my mom and sister oh-so much. They’re my everything. And I’m ready for Christmas! I am so Texas homesick these days. Which I will have you know is worse than being regular homesick because Texas is a magical place.

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Speaking of magical… Our last night was spent sipping wine at Maggiano’s, musing about a Vegas wedding (we’ll see!) and eating the most incredible tiramisu. I pretty much wanted to lather the cream all over my face. Too delicious. So worth it.

So, this is my little hello update for you. After Mom and Janie left work sucked Shelton and I in like a vortex (someone please tell me that working this hard will pay off one day…) and I’ve enjoyed being unplugged this week. The apartment is a mess, the air mattress has been set up in the living room for over a week now, and you know what? I’m fine with all of it. All of it.

Happy Weekend.

-S

Make It: Monthly Checklist

monthly checklist | sweetandsavorylife.com

Every month, multiple times a month, Shelton and I have the same conversation. It goes like this:

“Has AT&T pulled yet?”

“Did we set aside money for next month’s rent?”

“How much did you put to your credit card?”

“How much money have we saved?”

We are so busy, that sometimes keeping track of our monthly expenses feels like a chore. I am a lover of checklists, especially ones that can be used over and over. So, I created a simple monthly checklist so that we can see what has been paid, what is coming up and how much money we have saved. You can make one, too!

All you need is:

* Old frame (Any size will do! I used an 8×10.)

* List of your monthly bills (We break up our expenses in two parts: the first half of the month and then the second.)

* Dry erase marker

Jot down your expenses  (or type them up and print them out) and place them in the frame. Display the frame somewhere you can glance at it often — ours is on our kitchen counter — and as things get paid throughout the month, check them off! When the month is over, wipe off and repeat.

Now, wasn’t that easy?

You are welcome.

xo – Sarah

Scrapbooking: “Yo, April, What Up???”

You probably don’t know this about me, but I say “yo.” A lot. Probably too much. When I was laying out everything for the April layout, and reminiscing about all the AWESOME THINGS that happened in April I knew I had to throw a Yo in there. We did so much in April. Hiked in Raven Rock State Park, I was learning so much at my new job (ahem, still am), and we took a last minute weekend trip to Virginia Beach! April was a very, very good month indeed.

memory keeping | sweetandsavorylife.com

About this layout — there were definitely more pictures to work with this month simply because more happened. I don’t know why, but somewhere between March and April Instagram really became a huge part of my life. I am deep into it now and use my iPhone constantly as a camera. I think I have almost 2,500 pictures on it? And I’ve only had it since last September. Yeah… so I like to capture everything, pretty much. But I love that I can get great pictures with my phone, and I upload them weekly to Shutterfly. I make orders frequently. It’s so cheap!

Also, this was the first layout where I got to use the Project Life Photo Pocket Pages! I felt like a pro.

memory keeping | sweetandsavorylife.com

April Happenings

* Drunk night out on the town (we drank something called Pixie Dust?)

* Raven Rock!

* Adventures in Virginia Beach ($2 mimosas… need I say more?)

memory keeping | sweetandsavorylife.com

Supplies Used

* Fragments from everyday life

Project Life Kraft Core Kit

* Project Life Photo Pocket Pages – Big Variety Pack 1

May will definitely be an interesting layout to put together, because so much changed for us that month! I think the awesome part about actively scrapbooking life is that you get to tell your story… which is always changing. I am ready to catch all the way up and scrapbook things as they are happening!

xo – Sarah

Scrapbooking: March Memories

I am slowly (but steadily) making my way through 2013! Last week I wrapped up March and today I completed April (will share a little later on in the week). I must say — I am so happy that I am scrapbooking again. Life is just too precious, and moves too quickly. Scrapbooking has been a great outlet for me lately, because when I do it, I feel so fulfilled. I mean, how can I NOT feel fulfilled when I am staring at our smiling faces? #impossible

For this layout I had a lot of Instagrams to work with, and still being on a circle kick, I used a kitchen bowl to make four very different images work together cohesively (on the left). I LOVE how this turned out! I also used an insert in between the two spreads (hard to differentiate it in this picture — makes more sense in the next image) just so I could fit in all the exciting things that happened in March.

march layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

March Happenings

* We saw Oz and hated it

* Game of Thrones returned

* Shelton turned 27

* Shelton got a new job

* I got the job at Suddenlink (!)

* We played a lot of Arkham Horror

* We discovered some new things about Greenville

march layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Supplies Used

* Fragments from everyday life

* Hey Y’all Postcard by Megan McCrary (cute stuff — check out her Etsy shop!)

* Project Life Kraft Core Kit

* K&CompanySMASH Grab Bag

* me & my BIG ideas Pocket Pages

Bam! Just like that, March has been documented. When I finish a layout, I feel like bursting out into song? Does that ever happen to you? I hope so.

x0 – Sarah

Scrapbooking: Circle Layout + Paint Samples

I have recently been inspired to start scrapbooking more often. I’m a big fan of Elise’s Project Life albums and wanted to be more proactive in my memory saving, since it’s something that is very important to me. Over the past couple of weeks I have scrapbooked January and February of this year and hope to catch all the way up to July sooner rather than later, so that I can make note of things in the moment instead of trying to think back so much.

I will go ahead and get this out there: I am not a fan of spending tons of money on supplies. In this sense, I’m kind of a rebel scrapbooker, though I like to think of it as “sustainable scrapbooking.” The photos and memories should stick out — not the embellishments. I routinely save real bits and pieces from our day-to-day adventures, and to me that is what makes a layout special. If you find yourself feeling the same way, and need a little inspiration to get you going, I highly recommend this layout. It was fun, fast, and FREE!

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

I spotted these Pantone paint samples at Lowe’s over the weekend and helped myself to my favorite colors. So many beautiful hues!

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Spuds was a big help, like always.

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Using a biscuit cutter, I traced circles on all the paint samples and Instagrams. (I had these printed through FoxGram!)

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

Then, cuttin’ time. I love to cut paper, it’s so soothing for me.

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

My sheets are 12×12 knock-off Project Life photo holders. You can size this project and your circles however you like though! I also added in some index cards so that I’d have areas to jot down notes.

circular scrapbook layout | sweetandsavorylife.com

For the background, I chose a neutral brown kraft wrapping paper I had on hand. I love how it really makes the colors POP!

Since I print a LOT of Instagrams, I imagine I will recreate this layout to give the pictures more shape and add an unexpected element. I like how the pictures don’t conform to the sections. They stand out in a fun, new way and really draw in the eye.

Sarah’s Recommendation: Grab more paint samples than you need!

xo

My very own “Pinterest Fail”

Let’s talk. For a while now I’ve been sick of my iPad case. It serves it’s purpose, but it’s boring. Just leather. Just black. Just blah. So, like any able-bodied crafter, I decided I’d give it a revamp. I saw this iPad cover by Free People and loved the feather print. Perfect opportunity for me to finally make some foam stamps, right?

You’ll see.

Pinterest Fail | sweetandsavorylife.com

It all started off innocent enough. Prelim pics of the disaster that was about to strike.

Pinterest Fail | sweetandsavorylife.com

Now — one thing that did turn out right? The feather foam stamps. Hopefully they’ll get used again.

Pinterest Fail | sweetandsavorylife.com

Pinterest Fail | sweetandsavorylife.com

And… yeah. Then this happened. I started by just printing the stamps haphazardly on the cover, but the acrylic paint + leather material + foam stamps just didn’t mesh well together. The stamps (with the acrylic paint) would work much better on paper or fabric — not leather. I got pissed (surprise) and just painted over everything to try a patterned look. Also failed.

Pinterest Fail | sweetandsavorylife.com

Oh well. The phrase “can’t win ‘em all” also applies to crafting.

See more awesome-ly horrible Pinterest Fails here.

Have you ever started a project with good intentions and then watched as it quickly fell apart?

(If your answer is no, then I don’t believe you. Second thought: what are Martha Stewart’s failed projects?)

Rave on,

Sarah

Instagram Photoboard

What on earth did we do before Instagram?

It’s the perfect way to capture and share all of life’s little moments. For me that means delicious food, pretty things, and anything else that catches my eye. It’s like a time capsule of memories that takes up zero space, and with all the great Instagram printing services out there (my favorite is FoxGram!) it’s never been easier to order your snapshots and display them.

Remember that post I did furrrever ago about the Monthly Photo Display Project? Well, I decided to retire our old frame. It was a great find, but taking apart the back each month to put in a new photo was such a pain. Also, the fact that it already had defined portrait/landscape frames limited our photo choices. I tend to take a lot of landscape pictures.

I tossed around the idea of making a photoboard for a while, and this is what I came up with. A bunch of random supplies made a pretty awesome board for displaying our photos. It sorta just came together. I love it when that happens.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

In the early stages of brainstorming, I came across these little clipboards at A.C. Moore for one George Washington a piece. So, I did what any sane crafter would do and bought a dozen.

Then they literally sat in our office for over a month. Then I made the string art piece and fell in love with the canvas-wrapped corkboard I found at A.C. Moore. (I spend a lot of time there if you couldn’t already tell that.) So, I bought another one later on to create a completely different kind of board (it’s been tabled for now – more development is needed). And then a couple weeks ago I was like EUREKA and realized that I could combine the unused corkboard and elements of the clipboard to make our photoboard.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

I didn’t need the wood bases – just the clips.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Projects that require alignment take forever for me – my inner-perfectionist needs the spacing to be just right. It’s a process that I love to hate. Am I alone?

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

I then took a fine tipped pen and made dots where I would need to place screws.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Man, I haven’t bought a bottle of wine in a long time. But hey, at least my corkscrew is getting some cork action, right?

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Then to make the screws fit easier in the cork, I lightly pressed them in the holes before screwing them in. Then I laid the clips back on the board and screwed them into the cork. This took a bit of coordination. (Sorry for saying “screw” so much.)

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Once all the clips were screwed in, I turned the whole thing over and secured the screws with the little hex nut thingies.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

As a final touch, I took a white opaque paint pen and wrote the months on each clip. This is the versatile part of the project – you could decorate the clips however your heart desires.

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

The final product – with and without pictures. As the months progress, I plan to add more snapshots from fun things we do. What I like is that I have enough space to add bigger pictures (4×6) if I want to. And since the clips hold them in place – no holes from tacks!

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

Instagram Photoboard | sweetandsavorylife.com

I’m really happy with how this turned out. Would love to make another one with less clips for work-related projects.

-Sarah

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY

You know how I made that String Art a few weeks ago to spruce up our bedroom? Well, I didn’t stop there.

For my second knitting project of the year, I decided that I wanted to knit a cover for a throw pillow. And since anchors are also a thing between Shelton and I, that seemed to be the obvious decoration choice. The great thing about this DIY is that it is totally customize-able to whatever you’re wanting – heck, you don’t even have to knit if you don’t want to!

I feel you warming up to me.

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

For this project you’ll need: janky throw pillow from the clearance section, knitting supplies (yarn in your color of choice and needles – I used about 2 skeins of yarn to knit the front cover), felt, design stencil/vector image, embroidery floss or thread, needle, and scissors.

Not a knitter? Go to a thrift shop or dig in your closet and find an old sweater you never wear. As long as it’s big enough to cover the front of your janky throw pillow, then you’re solid. Or, don’t cover your pillow at all. Options, people. Options.

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Do you remember the days when you could purchase 2 cheap throw pillows from Walmart or Target for under $10? Those days are long gone, my friend. I searched high and low until I found this baby hiding on the clearance shelf at TJMaxx, which you know is a store where everything is already on sale. Definite win.

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

A hole! It’s my lucky day. In the words of Mr. Burns, “Egggggggsssellent.”

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

My finished knitted cover. I tried out circular needles for the first time and fell totally in love with them! Also, I didn’t account for how much the yarn would stretch, so the cover was a little wide. No big deal though – once it was secured with needle and thread it looked perfect. (From the front, but that’s the only side I care about. So there.)

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

I love downloading vector images from the internet. You can literally find anything.* I actually altered this vector in Illustrator to have a heart at the top instead of a circle, but you can do the same by drawing/cutting your printout or stencil. Also – I wanted the anchor to fill the center of my pillow so I enlarged it a bit and printed it out on two sheets of paper.

*Download at your own risk, obvi.

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Cut out your design and then tape all the edges to the felt. Then you get to cut it out again!

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Now the really fun part: stitching. I safety pinned the anchor in a few places first to make sure it didn’t move. I love the simplicity of hand stitching and I used the “back stitch” to sew the applique. Check out this really great Back Stitch step-by-step tutorial by Wild Olive!

After your applique is sewn on, then just roughly sew the completed cover to the pillow. Don’t worry about making it perfect, no one will see the back of the pillow anyway.

Cute Throw Pillow Applique DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

I think it helps tie the room together a little bit better! Same boat, an anchor… nautical without being nauseating.

Nightstand

Bonus picture! My nightstand. Pearls, a good book, stack of hair ties, jewelry box… I love being a girl.

What would you applique on your throw pillow?

-Sarah

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Anything

If you’re like me, you just can’t toss out those cute brown paper boxes each month from Birchbox. I recently reorganized all my make up in our bathroom and was able to free up a ton of space with this Magnetic Make Up Frame DIY and some leftover Birchboxes. Here’s how you can make your own stacking boxes for whatever knick-knacks you have that need organizing…

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Make Up | sweetandsavorylife.com

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Make Up | sweetandsavorylife.com

I traced the top and side of the box lids, following the shape of their creases. I left a little extra on the end to tuck inside the lid (to give it a finished look). If you want, you can wrap the whole top of the lid, but I was not feeling that zealous.

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Make Up | sweetandsavorylife.com

I recently bought this set of acrylic blocks and silicone stamps. At first I was super-nervous about how well these would work. How could the letters stick to the blocks over and over? Altogether the blocks and letters were ~$20… so I really didn’t want them to be a waste of moolah, you know.

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Make Up | sweetandsavorylife.com

Good news! They’re awesome and I will definitely be adding to my stamp collection with more blocks and silicone letters.

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Make Up | sweetandsavorylife.com

Once your lid covers are cut and stamped, hot glue them on top of your box. Keep them in line with the corners as you press down.

Repurpose Birchboxes to Store Make Up | sweetandsavorylife.com

Ta-da! Easy peasy.

-Sarah

Magnetic Make Up Frame

I received some great advice a few weeks ago from my friend Renee Do, who I affectionately call Do. As in “Do, a dear, a female dear…” She is pretty special to me for a number of reasons:

1. We traveled through England, Ireland and Wales together when we were teenagers.
2. She is one of the most honest, forthright, yet modest people I know.
3. She likes long emails just as much as I do.

When I started up Swoonful at the beginning of the year, I asked for feedback from friends, fellow bloggers, etc. and each month, Do diligently sends me an email response summing up her thoughts on the most recent edition. As someone who is constantly pushing themselves to do better, I can’t tell you how appreciated her feedback is to me. I guess because her and I are cut from the same cloth – perfectionists to a fault – I am never offended by her criticism, because it is truly constructive. That can be very hard to come by.

One of Do’s comments that stuck with me earlier this month was to actually do a project/recipe from a blogger I featured. Duh, I thought. Why hadn’t that occurred to me? I guess because I was in a rush to get out the Valentine’s Day issue and didn’t have time to get anything made. Well, my goal for the rest of the month was to do more projects. And boy, did I. To get started, I decided I needed to organize my make up situation in the bathroom, because well, it’s a damn mess. The result?

This awesome magnetic make up frame.

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I did some research on make up organization DIYs and found this incredible project from Laura Thoughts. I think it’s the original DIY that started a straight-up Pinterest chain reaction (you know how serious those are).

You can check out Laura’s post for the full how-to, but the steps are pretty simple:

1. Go through your make up and single out the products that you use most often – these items will go in your frame.
2. Purchase a frame, sheet metal, magnets and Command strips. You may need heavy duty clippers to cut the metal, strong glue like E600 or fabric to cover the metal. (I liked the exposed look.)
3. Glue the magnets to the back of your make up items. Let the lay out overnight to dry.
4. Cut your sheet metal to size. Take out the glass and other junk from the frame and replace with metal.
5. When the magnets are securely attached to your make up, test their resistance to ol’ gravity on the frame.
6. Hang your frame and stick your make up magnets on there! Add a pretty note or embellishments. Marvel at your handiwork.

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

Before. Ugh. How horrible does this look?

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

Behind-the-scenes organization. I let a lot of pieces go, but I feel great about it and don’t miss them at all. (Probably because I haven’t used those eyeshadows in years…)

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

After. Everything that I didn’t want on the frame, went into one of these boxes. I repurposed old Birchboxes and this was such a simple DIY (that I’ll share later). Every time I see my little boxes full of treasures it makes my head feel clearer. Seriously.

Tools: make up applicators, blotting sheets, brush cleaner, etc.

Sparkle: “going out” make up, red lipstick, glosses, falsies, glittery things.

Etc: abundance of samples from Birchbox I cannot bring myself to throw away.

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

In the little drawer I separated tools like tweezers, etc., from hair ties/bands (which I still have way too many of, but oh well).

Magnetic Makeup Frame | sweetandsavorylife.com

I would totally let Martha Stewart use our bathroom. Clean as a whistle.

What is your make up situation like? Would a project like this make getting ready in the morning easier for you?

-Sarah

Make Your Own String Art

After Shelton blew my socks off last week with my early Valentine’s Day gift, I was so excited to surprise him with a homemade piece of art straight from my heart. I’ve been looking for something to put over our bed, but nothing I found while perusing Etsy (or Pier One for that matter) seemed to fit us. When this happens, I know the only solution is to brainstorm a project and do it myself. Once the notion of string art entered my mind… the wheels started turning and well, here we are.

What does “same boat” mean? Glad you asked. Same boat is mine and Shelton’s personal relationship mantra. No matter where we are in life or what’s going on, we always say that we’re forever in the same boat. It’s a simple touchstone, but that’s all I need when the waters get rocky. Same boat means he’s right there with me, that we’re in it together no matter what “it” is.

So yeah. That’s why I couldn’t find what I wanted at Pier One. I needed it to be this personal.

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Before creating your own string art, please read my notes at the end of this post.

You will need: a cork board (whatever size you like), acrylic paint, 11/16″ wire nails, and embroidery thread.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Painting the cork is optional, but it reinforces the texture of the cork and also gives it a finished look.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

I highly recommend anchoring your letters. It makes moving it very easy if you need to and just keeps everything in line.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

I call this picture The Final Nail.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Time to start wrapping. I wish I could tell you there was a pattern to making it look awesome and crazy and random… but there isn’t. Once you double knot your thread on the first nail, just go to town with it. And even though this is a haphazard process… it is not a fast one. Prepare to spend the most time on the first letter and you will get faster as you go. When I was finished with one letter I always looped around each nail to give the letters a straight edge.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Progress. Tying off a letter is a bit tricky. Basically, when you’re done looping around each nail, pull the thread towards you with tension (to keep the letter from unraveling) and…

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

…while still holding the thread tight with your left hand, loop the end of the thread behind the nail you finished on and pull it through.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

Double knot and carefully snip away the ends.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

The finished product.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

I have a confession to make. This is the most moving project I have ever completed. Something about it really speaks to me – not just our same boat message – something more. It inspires me greatly, to the point where I want to make more. Lots more. I think most of us work hard to stay inside the lines and make a perfect life, but life is never perfect. It’s a tangled, wonderful, undeniable mess. And I’ve learned that through my relationship with Shelton. To really appreciate the messiness of life, because it’ll never be all-the-way clean.

Shelton really liked it, too. Okay, that’s a lie. He loved it.

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

String Art DIY | sweetandsavorylife.com

It fits.

~

Project Notes & Sources of Inspiration:

  • Your message/design will determine just how much nails and thread you need, so think about that while shopping. I ended up buying extras of everything, which chalked up to three boxes of nails and three skeins of each thread color. I only used one and a half boxes of nails and one skein of thread per color. So, I could’ve saved a little bit of dough, but then again these are not what you call expensive supplies.
  • I referenced a couple other string art DIYs and they called for linoleum nails, but I couldn’t find any at Walmart. I settled on wire nails but wish that I would have chosen nails with bigger, wider heads. This would have helped the process for two reasons: 1) at times it was tricky keeping the thread secured under such a small nail head while wrapping it and 2) literally for days after I completed this project my pointer finger (the one I used to primarily pin the nails) hurt like it had been burned. Painful!
  • I will do another string art project in the future, but plan on adjusting the process. For instance, using another material over cork, different nails, a hammer, etc.
  • DIY String Art Tutorial by Honey & Fitz
  • String Art For A Beachy Room by Creative In Chicago

DIY: Personalized Bookplate

If you’re like me – you’ll do whatever it takes to make a seemingly-ordinary gift unforgettable and special. In this post I talked about a wedding gift I recently gave to a good friend of mine that included a cookbook (Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstach). To make the cookbook a little bit more unique, I created a bookplate using some clear Avery labels I had in my craft stash and Illustrator. The step-by-step DIY is below!

Before you get started, you’ll need the following things:

1. Mailing labels — Whatever size you like. I recommend Avery labels because they have an extensive library of templates online.

2. Specific fonts — Not required, but you can download a ton of great fonts from dafont.com for personal use for free.

3. Vector images — Also not required, but can be used to jazz up any design. Whatever clip art you’re interested in featuring, perform a Google search and see what comes up. For instance, I searched for “swashes free vector” and got a lot of feedback. The swashes I used can be found here. Freepik.com is an excellent resource for vector files.

Note: this tutorial is if you’re creating one (1) bookplate. If you are interested in creating multiple sheets of the same bookplate information, you may want to skim over these initial steps and skip down to the bottom where I prompt you to search for and download the Adobe Illustrator file version of your mailing label template. Then you can design your bookplate as you see fit and copy/paste the design as needed.

STEP ONE: Once you have your mailing labels, vector files downloaded and fonts installed, fire up Illustrator and create a new document. Set the width and height to the mailing label size and make sure to set the document profile to “print.”

book plate 1

STEP TWO: Add your vector file, if you have one. Adjust it to your liking. (For instance, this swash design was initially black. I thought grey was a bit more fitting.)

book plate 2

book plate 3

book plate 4

STEP THREE: Add in your text. Play around as necessary.

book plate 5

book plate 6

Ta-da, final product.

book plate 7

STEP FOUR: Google search for a Adobe Illustrator template for your specific mailing label. Open it alongside your finished bookplate.

Note: This is what I recommend Avery – they have templates for all Adobe programs. If you try to save the image as a .jpeg or .png and copy/paste into a Microsoft Word template of your mailing labels you will be sorely disappointed with the clarity of the text/images. Speaking from experience on this one, so take my word for it.

STEP FIVE: Copy/Paste your items from the original Illustrator file to the Illustrator template, as many times as you want. I only needed one, which is why only one copy of the bookplate is visible below in the print preview window. Print and adjust spacing as necessary. Stick on the inside of your book and BOOM! Done-zo.

book plate 10

Pretty snazzy, huh?

DSC_0155

I don’t think I’ll ever give a book as a gift the same way again.

-Sarah