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

BFF Birthday Gift Box

Today is my childhood best friend’s birthday! Kelsey turns 25 and now is oh-ficially a member of the “25 and older” club. She was really dreading the big two-five, but I have a feeling it’ll grow on her. I decided to put her together a little gift box of sorts. Nothing special, just tiny gifts from the heart, i.e., the best kind.

Birthday Gift Box | sweetandsavorylife.com

What’s inside?

Birthday Gift Box | sweetandsavorylife.com

Kelsey recently learned how to crochet and I have been trying to pick up the skill as well. Knitting is going well, but crocheting, in many ways, is a whole ‘nother ball game. One of Shelton’s work friends is an avid crocheter and a couple weeks ago she gave me a ton of yarn. I thought the little skeins of cotton yarn were too cute for words!

I also had another go-around with my foil stamper and it was the best stamping session yet. I finished Kelsey’s note cards in no time!

I like how the pink ribbon makes a “k.” I’m all about subtleties.

Birthday Gift Box | sweetandsavorylife.com

Thanks to some supplies from The Plaid Barn and scrapbooking paper, I made this little pendant. I have a lot of epoxy dots from The Plaid Barn, and aspirations to start an Etsy store just full of epoxy creations. But of course all the supplies sit neatly on my desk. One day, maybe.

Birthday Gift Box | sweetandsavorylife.com

Birthday Gift Box | sweetandsavorylife.com

This paper envelope was in one of my previous Birchboxes and I saved it just for an occasion like this. A little stamping action, glue, sparklies and boom! Cute packaging.

Birthday Gift Box | sweetandsavorylife.com

All tucked safely inside – and hopefully it made it to the birthday girl in the same condition. I just love sending care packages. It’s pretty much my favorite thing ever.

Happy Birthday, Kelsey!

-Sarah

Valentine’s Day DIY: Mood Wheels! {FREE Printable}

This project is an oldie-but-a-goodie, posted way back in February 2011 on my old blog. It’s super cute, easy and got rave reviews , so I am happy to share again.

I’m shamed to admit that members of my family (and close friends) will be receiving their Valentine’s Day cards/gifts late this year. I finally got them all mailed off this morning, and still have one more to mail tomorrow. I know, terrible, right?

What can I say? I’m just one girl.

Maybe you’re feeling a bit like me–time is going by fast and you’ve got nothing to show for it. I’m here to help though! I have two last minute Valentine’s Day crafts that you can throw together tomorrow and still impress everyone with come the big day. They’ll cost you virtually nothing (if you have a craft stash) and will certainly make all the Valentines in your life feel special.

Without further adieu, I give you…The Mood Wheel.

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You’ll need:

  • Template I created printed on colorful cardstock (Free download here!)
  • Doilies (optional) (And yes, I realize that I spelled “doillies” wrong in the picture.)
  • Double-sided tape (or any kind of thin adhesive)
  • Toothpick
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Brads (cutesy ones, or old school gold ones)
  • Magnetic strips (with adhesive, if you can find some)

You’ll like to know that this is a project that you can make as intricate or as simple as you like. Don’t want to use doilies? Don’t! Don’t want to buy magnets? Clean off your fridge and use the promotional magnets that businesses hand out! Make it your own, don’t make it perfect.

First, you’ll want to cut out the arrow and wheel from the template. I mixed it up by never using the same color on one wheel, but do it however you like!

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Punch a hole in the arrow.

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Poke a hole in the wheel.

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Attach the double-sided tape (or whichever adhesive your little crafty heart desires) on the back of the wheel.

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Attach wheel to the doily, press firmly and puncture all the way through.

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Stick the brad through the arrow’s hole and through the hole, placing the magnet over the back of the brad. Turn over and again press down on the top of the wheel to ensure the doily adheres to the magnet.

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Ta-da! The finished products.

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I realized that the mood wheel I had was a bit…edgy, I suppose. Perfect for the college kids I worked with at the time, but not for a household with children. I can see it now:

“Mom, why are you feeling ‘bitchy’ today?”

“Teacher, what does ‘tipsy’ mean?”

Not kosher. So I made another one, a PG version, if you will. It’s available here.

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I want all of the projects I post to have versatility. So, whether you have a six-year-old who needs Valentines for Monday or you work in an office of cynics, there’s a mood wheel for you.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy,

Sarah

Finished Project Gallery: Felt Edition

I know we’ve all been packing up ornaments and holiday decor, and probably don’t want to think about peppermint or wrapping paper for another eleven months or so… but in the name of Crafting I must share these photos with you, because I a firm believer that all finished projects should be celebrated in some small way. This past Christmas I dove headfirst into embroidery and hand-stitching and fell in love with this craft! I have more projects in the works and hope to share a DIY with you soon. Until then, here are some photos of recently finished projects… {product links below}

circular stockings progress

My personal crafting mantra? It’s a mess until it’s complete.

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Finished ornament, along with a lovely pearl bracelet. I took this photo for one of my clients – a local jewelry store.

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The final set of circular ornaments, as well as the beginning stages of Shelton’s stocking.

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After completing the first round of ornaments, I decided to get fancy and create my own designs from scratch. I made these for a friend who is getting married in February and was quite smitten with them.

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Our finished stockings! I finished mine on the way to Texas. Next year they’ll get to hang next to each other, until then they are tucked safely away with the rest of our Christmas decor.

And by “tucked safely away” I mean stacked on the table with everything else.

Here are the links to the different kits I purchased. They were all super-easy to put together and I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to try out this craft. Bonus: a lot of the Christmas themed kits are on sale right now!

Happy crafting!

-Sarah

DIY: Countdown Display

Hey there!

I hope you are all having an awesome week. I am still getting back in the swing of things after Spring Break, but for the most part my week back at work has been a good one. Last night Shelton and I were out late with friends and I am certainly feeling it today. White Russians might have been involved.

Yesterday Shelton and I did a lot of job research, which is exciting and scary at the same time. We’re headed towards big changes and that’s worth being nervous and pumped about. Right now we’re looking at Austin, Las Vegas, Chicago, North Carolina… Lots of places. I don’t know what will happen and where we’ll end up, but I know we’ll be together and that is a very comforting thought. Before leaving last night, Shelton gave me a mission. He does this a lot and they’re always so fun for me. My mission wast to see how many days there were until August 1 (his estimated quit date). “I need a countdown,” he said.

Done.

Honestly, I think he just wanted a number, but I can never just do the bare minimum when it comes to him. Any chance I get to go the extra mile, you best believe I am doing it. Don’t you do the same?

If you don’t… you should.

This is a fun, easy project to do for someone you love. We all need little reminders to keep on pushing forward. Sometimes the things we look forward to seem like they’ll never get here, but they always do. The days move by and numbers decrease. There is a lot that needs to happen between now and August 1, but I know it’s all part of the process. And when the going gets tough, I’ll simply ask Shelton how many days are left and he’ll tell me a smaller number each time.

The current count? 125.

Here’s how to make your own countdown display…

You’ll need:

  • Scraps of paper – cardstock or index cards (enough for each day leading up to your special day)
  • Hole punch
  • Loose binder ring or ribbon
  • Markers

Number the scraps and hole punch them all. Make a “cover” page if you want and string them all on the binder ring or ribbon. Make sure the numbers go from highest to lowest. That’s it! A small, simple way to show how much you care that takes no time at all. I completed Shelton’s countdown while watching an episode of Glee.

Which, by the way, is becoming more like a musical soap opera each week. But anyway, I digress.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday,

Sarah

Ongoing Calendar Craft Project

 

I love calendars. A lot. When I came across this project late last year, I knew I had to recreate it for myself. I think it’s sad that calendars are only bought/given around Christmas, haphazardly wrapped and thrown under the tree just to add to the stack of gifts. Then they are thrown away at the end of every year. Such a waste.

This is not your average calendar. Or your average gift, if you happen to make one for someone very lucky. Here’s how it works. There is an index card for each day of the year and each day you note something special that happened. Along with making this calendar for my co-worker who just had a baby, I also made one for myself. And I love it. I note little things every day (or every few days) and it is so fun looking back through the months. It reminds me that something worth remembering happens every day. Don’t overlook these little moments.

They’re everything.

You will need:

  • Square-shaped box (I’d say no bigger than a 6″-7″ square)
  • 366 index cards, cut to fit into your box (leap year, duh)
  • 12 divider cards (one for each month)
  • Date/Year stamp
  • Stamp pad
  • Patience

Steps:

  1. Using a paper cutter, cut all your index cards in one uniform shape. This size will vary. Just make sure they fit into your box with a little wiggle room (not too much).
  2. Cut your monthly divider cards as well, making them a quarter of an inch taller than your date cards.
  3. Stamp all your cards. Feel free to do it in groups. I spaced it out over a week’s time, 3-4 months an evening. Lay out the cards to dry completely, overnight if you can.
  4. That’s it!

Ways to make this calendar special…

  • Decorate the box like we did. I actually can’t take credit, Shelton did it all. He’s so crafty and I love him.
  • Embellish the month cards, or use pictures or even post cards!

This is a project that takes some dedication, but it’s so worth it. I pinky swear.

Sarah