DIY: Yarn Wrapped Key Covers

I know I've made some unique (and unusual) projects over the years including this pistachio shell necklace and these cereal box notebooks, so you can imagine how many times I get asked, “how do you come up with these ideas?!” Well folks, I think it’s time to answer that question! My process is pretty simple: (1) research (2) inspiration (3) create. And since the "key" ingredient (see what I did there?) to finding inspiration is the research phase, I partnered with Bing for a behind-the-scenes look at how I came up with today's project! Bing challenged me to use their search tool, where I'm able to earn credits to redeem some amazing gift cards just by searching! Pretty cool, right?

After meeting the awesome group of ladies from Bing last month (and winning a tablet!), I decided to give it a try. It’s been about 4 weeks and I can tell you that I’m hooked!

Bing’s search functionality is s
uper visual with lots of images, which makes it easier for me to find inspiration quickly. But the icing on the cake is definitely the Bing Rewards program. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this! You can earn credits just by searching the web. That’s all! Then you can redeem them for gift cards to some amazing stores like Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, Fandango and more. Bonus: Bing Rewards just launched on Apple iOS and Android phones and tablets so you can build up your credits wherever you are.

So here is how today's project was born...
I had a bunch of embroidery floss laying around so I decided to use them for my next craft. I used Bing to search for inspirational images of other projects made from embroidery floss. After browsing a few pages, I noticed a lot of accessories like jewelry and pens being wrapped with yarn, so that got me wondering what little object I could jazz up. A few minutes later, it hit me! And that is why all my keys are now color-coded with yarn!

Now let's get started!

• Key
• Embroidery Floss (about 5 feet)
• Tacky Glue 
• Scissors

• Add a thin layer of glue to both sides of the key's bow (aka the top part). It's easier to apply a small amount of glue then add more as you go.  
• Find the center of your embroidery floss and place it on the bottom of the key's bow.
• Working your way to the top, start wrapping the embroidery floss around the key cover, alternating between the two sides of the yarn. Add more glue as needed and continue wrapping.

• If your key has multiple holes at the top like mine, you’ll need to individually wrap around them too (see images below).

• Secure the first end of the embroidery floss by gluing it to the rest of the yarn. Cut any access yarn off if needed. 
• Wrap the remaining end around until the key is completely covered.
• Glue the end to secure.  

DIY: Mini Instagram Photo Book

I always find that handmade gifts are the best way to show your loved ones how much you care. Did you see my "10 Things I Love About You" Jar from last year?

Lately, we've been taking more and more Instagram photos so I thought it would be fun to create a mini album with my favorite pictures to capture all the highlights from the past year. Since Tony and I are getting married this year, I think it might actually be a fun little tradition to create one of these for every year of our marriage. And since they're tiny, you don't need a ton of materials and scrapbook supplies to make them. Super simple...that's how I like to do things around here!

These would even make a cute gift idea for an anniversary, birthday, or just a way to brighten up someone's day!

• 3” x 3” Instagram photos (directions on how to print them below)
• 6” x 3” cardstock paper (you’ll need 1 sheet for every 2 photos)
• Glue stick or tape runner (I used a glue stick, but think a tape runner would have been easier to work with) 

• 2 pieces of 3.5” x 3.5” chip board (you can also upcycle a notebook cover or cereal box)
• Decorative scrapbook paper (for the covers)
• Red felt
• Twine
• Scotch tape
• Scissors (or a paper trimmer for super straight lines)

How to Print Your Instagram Photos:
There are many ways to print your Instagram pictures. Here are a few of my favorite options.

• Option 1:
You can print your Instagram photos at home with a color printer. You first need to download your photos using Instaport. This will create JPG files of your Instagram photos. Then, you can use this great template (download it here) created by Tatertots & Jello, to add your photos onto a Word document and print. I just simply dragged my photos from my desktop onto the Word doc. Super easy!
• Option 2: There are various companies that will professionally print your Instagram photos including Prinstagram, FoxGram and PostalPix, just to name a few.

• Cut out your Instagram photos using scissors or a paper trimmer.
• Fold cardstock paper in half. Attach all the pieces together using a glue stick as shown above.
• Attach Instagram pictures to the cardstock panels using a glue stick.
• To create the front and back covers, cover the chip boards with your favorite decorative paper using a glue stick. 

• Lay the twine over the cardstock paper and tape in place, as shown below. 
• Attach the chip boards to the front and back of the cardstock using a glue stick.

• Decorate the cover as you wish. I attached some ribbon and cut out a heart out of felt.
• Tie a bow with the twine to close. 

My DIY Cereal Box Notebook Business Cards

Hi folks! I just got back from an amazing week in Salt Lake City for the Cricut Explore launch event and the Alt Summit blogging conference. I'm feeling so inspired after being around a group of 700 incredibly creative people!

I knew that exchanging business cards was kind of a big thing at these events, so I wanted to make mine extra special. I decided to turn one of my most popular DIY projects, the cereal box notebooks, into my business cards! Thanks to the custom logo stamps that Twin Soul Art Studio made for me, I think these came out awesome.

With 25 cereal boxes from the 99¢ Store, I was able to make 200 cereal box notebook business cards. And to answer the question that I got asked the most...they took 2 weeks to make, a few paper cuts, and an assembly line of happy helpers. And to answer the second most asked question...the cereal definitely did not go to waste! 

You can find my original cereal box notebook tutorial here, but I created a modified version for these extra mini notebooks below. I think these would be a cute gift idea too! Here we go...

• Cereal box • Paper trimmer (since I was cutting several boxes, I used my heavy-duty Fiskars ProCision Rotary Trimmer) • Custom logo stamp (Twin Soul Art Studio makes fantastic ones!) • Ink pad • Hole puncher • Notebook paper • Scrapbook/Decorative paper • Glue stick • Stapler
Paper fastener • Embroidery floss Optional: Mini hanging tags and twine 

• Using the paper trimmer, cut out a rectangular piece from the cereal box. Mine was 5" x 3.75" and I was able to get 8 notebooks from 1 cereal box.
• Fold in half with the blank side facing out.
• Stamp on your custom logo or add any other embellishments to the cover.

• Trim notebook paper slightly smaller than the notebook cover. I used 7 sheets at 4.75" x 3.6" each.
• Fold paper in half, place it inside the notebook cover, stapling the two together.
• Optional: Add a mini hanging tag, by running twine through the tag and knotting around the notebook to secure.
• For the notebook's spine, cut out a small piece of scrapbook paper and fold in half. Attach it to the notebook with a glue stick.

• Punch a hole in the center of the top cover.
• Knot a piece of embroidery floss to a paper fastener, slide it through the hole, and fold back the prongs to secure.
• Wrap the embroidery floss around the notebook and tuck it under the paper fastener to secure.

DIY Wine Bottle Wraps with Ladies' Home Journal

It's finally here! Ever since Ladies' Home Journal approached me six months ago to create a craft project for their November issue, I have been anticipating to see the final product. I've been reading Ladies' Home Journal for years and it is such an honor to turn the page and see myself featured inside!

This is my all-time favorite issue of LHJ, not only because I'm featured in it (ok that's 95% of the reason), but also because one of my favorite chef's, Giada De Laurentiis, shares some of her delicious healthy recipes. I'm not much of a baker, but those mini carrot-apple cupcakes are tempting.

Check out the November issue on newsstands now or head over to LHJ.com for the full step-by-step tutorial!

 photos by Anais & Dax

The photo shoot itself was such a fun experience! The very talented photography team Anais & Dax came to my home and captured the project just beautifully. Check out some behind the scenes photos from the shoot below.

A very special thank you Ladies' Home Journal and Anais & Dax!

DIY: Lunchbox Container from a Milk Jug

Say goodbye to the brown sack lunchbox! A few months ago, AllYou Magazine came to me with a craft challenge and I'm excited to finally share it with all of you! My project is featured in this month's issue as part of their "Take This, Make That" craft challenge. Please VOTE for my DIY lunchbox right here!

A milk jug makes a great lunch box, because not only is it food-safe, but it is the perfect size to keep your sandwiches from getting squished! Plus it will cost you about $1 to make! It can also be used as a container to organize all your little goodies. And the smaller milk jugs make the perfect on-the-go boxes too.

Now, the kids have another reason to finish their milk!

Empty milk jug
Sharpie or marker
Threading needle
 Embroidery floss
Elastic hairband
Decorative Cover (optional): Decorative scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, Brush

Rinse out the milk jug and peel off the label. If any residue remains, run it under hot water and scrub away with a dish sponge.
To create the flaps, use a marker to draw four half circles, one on each side of the jug. Make one side as tall as possible to create the lid (see image above).
Cut along the inside of the lines and discard the remaining pieces.
Bend down all four flaps so it starts to take the form of a container. If it doesn't fold properly, try making longer slits on each corner of the milk jug.
To create a button loop closure, sew on a button on the top lid.
Directly underneath on the bottom base of the milk jug, pierce a hole with the edge of your scissors. Run a hairband halfway through, knotting the end from the inside of the container to hold in place.
Optional: To personalize the container, decoupage your favorite decorative paper on the lid using Mod Podge, following the directions on the bottle.

DIY Chain Trimmed Placemats

This post is a special one for me, because it’s the first time I am writing to you as a married woman! Our wedding was one of the happiest days of our lives and I can’t wait to share all the details with you soon. Our first month of married life has been fantastic and one of the most fun we’ve had is decorating our new place.

After many weeks of searching for furniture, our apartment is almost complete! One of my favorite pieces is our Modway Dining Table from my new favorite online store, Wayfair. If you're in the market for furniture, accessories, or any other home-related items, Wayfair has it all! We needed something modern and white to brighten up the place a bit and this table did the trick. And now that we got the main furniture pieces sorted out, it’s time for my favorite part…accessorizing! 

I bought some plain placemats for about $2 each and wanted to glam them up a bit for my new table. I bought a couple pieces of chain from the craft store and after some super simple stitching, my new placemats were born! You can also use this technique with fringe or fabric trim as well. Follow the simple steps below to make your own set! 

• Placemats
• Decorative Chain (found online or at craft stores. make sure the holes are large enough for the needle to poke through) 
• Embroidery Floss
• Threading Needle
• Scissors
• Wire Cutters

• Thread needle with the embroidery floss and tie a double knot at the end.
 Place the end of the chain next to the edge of the placemat. Run the needle through the chain and the edge of the placemat and pull tightly.

 Continue stitching the chain and placemat together then tie a double knot to secure the stitch when complete.
 Trim the ends of the string with scissors and cut off any excess chain with wire cutters. 

Check out Wayfair for tons of home furniture and accessories at amazing prices!

DIY: Nail Polish Colored Headphones

I'm thrilled to partner with The Washington Post for today's DIY tech project! Each year, they create a great holiday tech guide where readers can find tips on scoring the best gadgets for the techies in their lives. This year, they're featuring DIY tech gift ideas and I'm so excited to be a part of it.

If you're planning on buying a phone, tablet or laptop for any of your loved ones this year, you could craft up a pair of colorful headphones to go along with it! I always love receiving gifts with a personal touch. For this easy DIY project, nail polish and some masking tape is all you need! Especially since you've probably got some colors that haven't made an appearance on your nails for a few years, it's time to put them to use!

P.S. Check out my DIY bubble mailer tablet case and cork tablet sleeve for more tech projects. 

• Headphones
• Variety of nail polish colors
• Clear nail polish
• Masking tape
• Clothespins

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