DIY Gift Ideas - DIYInspired.com
02nd Dec2013

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

by Dinah Wulf

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My older brother told me that when I was little I used to sing “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music and I would mess up the words. For example I would sing, “When the bee bites, and the dog stings.” I often think of that time and age in my life when I’m stressed out. Being creative is very therapeutic for me. Sometimes it’s just the little things like wrapping presents for friends that make me happy.  Many times (if not all) when I’m “crafting” there really isn’t an exact plan.  Things just happen and fall in place.  Anyway, I decided to wrap these brown paper packages tied up with string to relieve some stress of the holiday season this year.

This was my process… just picture me staring at the boxes and raiding my craft room in between each step wondering what to do next.

I started with these boxes.  You can’t see what’s inside because it’s for two of my best friend’s birthdays coming up and I don’t want them to see it!

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Because of “My Favorite Things” I wrapped them in brown paper.

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I looked in my cabinet filled with all different types, colors, textures of ribbon and pulled out this super thick lace.

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I also found some pretty pink satin ribbon.

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I finished them off with some twine, a felt flower, and I used a craft punch to make the tags.

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I know I know… not a crazy tutorial or upcycled DIY project today… but just taking a moment to enjoy simple things like wrapping presents for friends that make me happy!

27th Nov2013

Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets

by Dinah Wulf

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I love Christmas family cards because it showcases my friends and their families as they grow over the years.  The whole family is dressed up and looking their best.  The only problem is that the cards sit in a drawer, get tucked away in a box, or even get tossed in the trash.  Looking at these photos, I wanted to recycle them into something that I can look at daily, so I made these Recycled Christmas Card Bottle Cap Magnets and literally turn trash to treasure.

This project takes some time; days in fact. It takes a while because I, of course, took the cheap route! I chose to use decoupage medium because it was already in my craft closet.  For quicker results, you can use resin.

Here are the materials you need:

  • Bottle Caps
  • Decoupage medium like Mod Podge
  • Old pictures
  • A half inch circle craft punch
  • Magnets
  • Strong adhesive, like E 6000
  • Time

First, fill each bottle cap ¾ of the way with decoupage medium. Gently lift and tap the cap on your counter to even and smooth out the glue.  This also helps eliminate small air bubbles.  Set them aside (I waited 24 hours).  Meanwhile, use the craft punch to punch out pictures that you would like to use.  You don’t have to use pictures for this.  I have also tried patterned scrapbook paper and small stickers.  You can even use magazine photos as well.

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Once the glue has hardened (it doesn’t have to be COMPLETELY hardened), put another small dab of glue on top and insert your photo.  Add another layer of glue.  Again, gently tap the bottle cap to a hard surface to even and smooth out the glue.

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Allow the second layer to dry.  This time, I waited 48 hours.  This photo shows the 24 hour mark.  Next, attach the magnets to the back of the bottle cap using a strong adhesive.  The glue will dry completely clear over time (approximately 48-72 hours).

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Consider packaging these cute magnets in a small treat bag with a personalized label and give as homemade gifts!

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20th Nov2013

7 DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Christmas Ornaments For Kids

Thinking of new holiday crafts to do this year, I realized that I have done a few very easy to make Christmas ornaments.  So, I thought I’d put together a round-up of seven DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids today!

Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids

This one is a popular one that I did when I first started blogging.  All you need is a recycled toilet paper roll, glue, ribbon, and a rhinestone.  You can glitter or paint them if you want as well. It’s super easy and the kids will love it!

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Scrabble Christmas Ornaments

I don’t know about you but our household ended up with two Scrabble boards.  One had many missing pieces so I decided to reuse the tiles.  Your kids can spell out whatever their hearts desires!

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Skeleton Key Crafts

I found these skeleton keys in the dollar bin at a craft store. All I did was add a ribbon and a bead and you have an instant ornament!

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Happy Meal Toy Memory Ornaments

What do you do with all those toy figurines and Happy Meal toys your kids won’t let go? Turn them into a memory keepsake ornament!  I write the year on the bottom so I don’t forget. If you have multiple, you can give them away to friends at school as easy and inexpensive homemade gifts.

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Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments

Another great way to recycle and reuse is to turn old colorful Christmas cards into flower ornaments.  With a similar technique as the toilet paper roll ornaments, these are also really fun to make with the kids.

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Vintage Inspired Ornaments 15 Minute Craft

One of my most recent ornaments can be made with kids as well.  They’ll have fun working with paint and giving these ornaments a little shake.

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Vintage Handkerchief Ornaments

This is a great one to make and give to grandma.  Take one of her handkerchiefs and make a pretty keepsake ornament for her as a gift this year.  Add a tag with the year and a little message to Grandma.

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14th Nov2013

Stenciled Monogrammed Placemats Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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I love my Thanksgiving placemats.  They are simple, black and white, with a script style.  It has words like, “gratitude”, “share”, “Blessings”, and “thanks”… perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner party.  BUT you know me, and I had to spruce them up a little.  I thought a little shimmer of gold would be a nice touch.  I did a similar post in the past on burlap placemats I made.  It’s quite the popular post! With that said, here is my stenciled monogrammed placemats tutorial.

Materials:           

  • Fabric placemats
  • Stencil of choice
  • Spouncer stencil brush
  • Small paper plate
  • Craft paint good for fabric
  • Two clean towels

Here are my lovely placemats. Pretty but needed a little oomph.

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I chose a “W” for our last name, Wulf.  I love collecting “W’s” and they are all over my house.

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First, place a small amount of paint onto your paper plate.  Dip the spouncer brush in the paint and allow the paint to saturate the end of the brush.  Stamp the excess paint onto the plate BEFORE you apply it to the placemat.  Once your brush is saturated (without any clumps of paint), apply the paint in an up and down stamping motion.  This will avoid bleeding.

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You can immediately remove the stencil.  I rinsed the stencil from paint in between each placemat and dried it with two dish towels.  I had quite the system going on! I was actually able to finish this project very quickly (about a half hour).

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Allow your placemats to dry completely.

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That’s it!  These would make great personalized gifts.  I was thinking of making sets of 4 for my friends.  You can also stencil on cloth napkins and give them as a set. Make a set of two for your favorite couple and give it as a hostess gift as well!

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12th Nov2013

How to Make a Secret Book Safe

by Dinah Wulf

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Making a secret book safe is a lot easier than I thought.  It’s one of those things that I thought I’d have to buy because I thought it’d be a really cool gift.  But before I spend any money to buy one, why not try to make it myself??? Here is how to make a secret book safe.

Materials:

  • Thick hardback book
  • Decoupage medium or glue and water mixture
  • Paint brush
  • Sharp knife
  • Metal straightedge

Step One:

I wanted to keep a few of the front pages in tact to show the copy-write date and an illustration. I covered the front cover and those pages plus one page with plastic wrap.

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Step Two:

I used Mod Podge, a decoupage medium, and a paint brush to seal the three edges. Make sure you saturate them with approximately three coats.  Allow the Mod Podge to dry (about 15 minutes), meanwhile set something heavy on top of the book to create pressure.

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Step Three:

Next, using a straightedge and a pencil, I marked the area I wanted to cut out.

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Step Four:

Using a sharp knife and a metal straightedge, I carefully cut out a few pages at a time, making sure to remove small bits and pieces along the way. Take your time while doing this step.

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Step Five:

After I reached the desired depth, I sealed the inside edges with Mod Podge and allowed it to dry completely.

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Step Six:

I then used Mod Podge around the top edges and glued the extra front page on top.  After a few minutes, I used the knife to cut out the center.  This top page gives it a nice clean look.

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Notes:

Save the book pages for other book page craft projects. Also, consider using ribbon to cover the inside edges or decorative paper to cover the inside back for a more finished look.

21st Oct2013

DIY Perfume Kit

by Dinah Wulf

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I received this fun DIY Perfume Kit. It even included a guide to making your own fragrance. I’ve seen people on TV do it, so I thought I’d try it out! I actually don’t buy perfume… it makes me sneeze!  For some reason I can, however wear fruity fragrances so this was going to be a challenge for me. 

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The kit was very beautiful as you can see.  I busted out the instructions and went for it. I started out by testing each scent using the test strips provided. 

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I read about Top Notes, Heart Notes, and Base Notes, and ended up choosing one of each for my scent. I chose Apple, Rose, Amber… very pretty! I marked my note cards.

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I put four drops of apple, three drops of rose, and two drops of amber.  I figured I’d start with very little just in case.

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I poured it all into the glass perfume jars that were provided using the funnel also provided.

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I ended up playing around with this kit for quite a while.  I was so intrigued and believe it or not I only sneezed twice!

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Although this was fun, I DID decided, however that making my own scents wasn’t my thing.  I’d rather buy it from the experts! This would be a fun gift.  If you want to check out some more kits I tested out.  Check out my posts on DIY Lavender Bath Salts and How to Make Your Own Lip Balm.

I received this kit as party of my Skinny Cow Ambassador program. All opinions are 100% my own.

11th Oct2013

12 Homemade Gift Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know about you but I’m a planner. I need to know what I’m doing next week two weeks ago. OK, not really, but when it comes to events and holidays I DO plan WAY in advance.  I was just sitting in my craft room thinking about Christmas and thought I’d put together a round-up of a dozen homemade gift ideas that I have personally made in the past. Here we go!

12 Homemade Gift Ideas

DIY Lip Balm

I made these little tins for a few of my girlfriends.  They are so fun to make and actually VERY easy.  My favorite part is decorating the tin!

Make Your Own Bath Salts

I made these lavender bath salts to go with the lip balm.  It smells amazing and once again… my fave was decorating the jars…ha!

Wine Cork Wine Charms

These are great party favors.  One wine cork will make six wine charms.  You can personalize them to fit any party theme or holiday.

Upcycled Vase with Flowers

This is a fun and easy way to upcycle an old bottle or jar. I prettied up a tequila bottle.  I didn’t give this one away, it’s actually on my kitchen table and I use it for everyday flowers.

Flower Cluster Headpiece

This was so fun to make and perfect for the girly girl in your life!

Personalized Mugs

I love these!  I made a “Mr. and Mrs.” set, great for a  wedding or shower gift but you can also personalize any monogram to fit that special someone.

DIY Serving Tray

One of my most favorite makeovers, this thrift store mirror turned serving tray is the perfect fit for the hostess in your life.

Hand Painted Wooden Bowl

Gracing every thrift store shelf you can find these wooden bowls.  Make them a little more modern with a hand-painted dipped look.

Nautical Inspired Rope Vase

A fun and easy, 15 minute craft, this nautical inspired rope vase is great for beach lovers.

Coffee Bean Sack Pillow

Upcycling at its best, these recycled coffee bean sacks are great for an outdoor patio set.

Heat Transfer Tote Bag

If you’re recipient is anything like me, his/her trunk is filled with recycled bags!  Personalize your gift with this heat transfer tutorial.

Burlap Stenciled Placemats

One of my most popular posts, I think I may do this one again! Make your own burlap stenciled placemats for your friends or even your pets!

07th Oct2013

Glittered Candy Corn Mason Jar

by Dinah Wulf

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The candy corn was my inspiration for this project.  Even though I don’t care to eat them, I always thought that there was something whimsical about the colors.  It reminds me of Halloween, but it’s not scary or frightening.  So, I decided to make a glittered candy corn Mason jar.

Materials:

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Instructions:

I started with the center orange stripe on purpose to save time.  I knew once that the orange was dry; I would be able to apply both the gold and white without waiting for one to dry.  Using painter’s tape, I taped of my center stripe and then covered the entire center with glue using the paint brush. I sprinkled the glitter all the way around the jar.  Tap off the excess glitter and put it back in your container.

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While the glue was still wet, I pulled off the painter’s tape. I allowed it to dry completely.

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Next, I taped off the lower half of the orange stripe to begin glittering the gold stripe using the same technique above.

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Remove the tape while it is still wet.

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Repeat the process for the final white stripe.

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Once the glue was dry, I gave the vase a light tap over the garbage can to remove any excess glitter. Then, I added water and fresh flowers!

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I loved how it turned out.  I think these would make a great homemade hostess gift during all those parties over the holidays!

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19th Sep2013

Recycled Box Gift Bags with Scotch Brand

by Dinah Wulf

I’m honored to be partner up with Scotch Brand, sponsor of Recycled Box Gift Bags!

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I’m excited to announce this year’s 2013 Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest!  The 17th annual Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest will take place Friday, December 6 at Celsius at Bryant Park in New York City. All you have to do is submit a 3-minute video of your best gift wrap and gift wrapping tips before September 22 to be considered (Quick! That’s THIS Sunday!). Eight finalists will be chosen and flown to New York City for an all-expenses paid trip to compete for the $10,000 and the title of the 2013 Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper!!! The first 50 valid entries will automatically receive a prize pack of the new Scotch Expressions Tapes! Learn more about the contest {HERE}!

I was able to try out some of my own gift wrapping inspired by Scotch Expressions Tapes.  They are available in over 100 colors and patterns and four varieties—Magic Tape, masking tape, washi tape and shipping tape.

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I decided to upcycle these used food boxes from my kitchen pantry (so now you know I eat generic whole wheat rotini and pop tarts!).

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I started off by cutting off the top flaps.

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Then, I covered the box with colorful paper to match my Scotch Expressions Tape.

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I also used a hole punch to punch holes on each side of the boxes to insert a ribbon for a handle.

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I chose some masking tape and some washi tape to embellish my upcycled gift bags, and tied on some ribbon. Tah-dah!

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More info about Scotch Expressions Tapes:

They are available at office superstores and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online. Head to their site to find a store near you. It’s easy! Just type in your zip code. The Scotch Expressions Tapes line ranges in price from $2.50 (single pack)—$5.99 (triple pack).  Office Depot is also currently selling five limited edition One Direction tapes in partnership with an anti-bullying campaign.

Thanks again to Scotch Brand for sponsoring today’s post!

13th Sep2013

How to Make Your Own Lip Balm

by Dinah Wulf

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I have always wanted to make my own lip balm, probably because I’m obsessed with it. I have lip balm in every purse, every bathroom, and in my car. I think it’s an addiction. The kits I have seen in the past look so fun, but for some reason I’ve never pulled the plug and bought one. Thanks to Skinny Cow and my Spa Night Mission, I was able to try a make tour own lip balm kit from Herban and Crafts. Here’s how I made it.

Materials: (Provided in your kit)

  • Cocoa Butter
  • Beeswax
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Spearmint Essential Oil

Equipment:

  • Saucepan
  • Pyrex Measuring Cup
  • Metal Spoon
  • Paper Towels
  • Lip Balm Tins (Provided in your kit)

First I put water in my saucepan and placed the measuring cup inside. I put the beeswax, cocoa butter, and sun flower oil in the cup.

I allowed the mixture to heat and melt.

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Once it melted, I removed it from the stovetop and added my essential oil, mixing it with my spoon. I poured it into the metal containers.

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They cooled very quickly!

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I decided to make my own personalized labels. I used scrapbook paper, a circle cutter, double sided tape, and monogram stickers. Here are some after photos.

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I have to admit, that I loved making these and I didn’t realize how easy it was.  Thank you to my sponsor, Skinny Cow for providing me with this kit! I loved it!

10th Sep2013

How to Make Your Own Bath Salts

by Dinah Wulf

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One of the fun DIY projects I was assigned during my Skinny Cow Wocave Mission was a make your own bath salts kit I received from Herban Crafts.  I have to say that I haven’t done anything like this before and it was so much fun! I think this Herban Crafts kit would make a great gift.  Here is how to make your own bath salts.

Materials: (provided in your kit)

  • Lavender buds
  • Sea salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid

Equipment:

  • Blender
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Sieve or strainer
  • Metal or plastic spoon
  • Jars (2 provided in your kit)

The kit came with everything I needed except for the equipment.

First, I ground half of the lavender buds provided in a blender (about .25 ounces) for one minute.

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Next, I placed the ground lavender buds and sea salt into a mixing bowl.

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I strained the baking soda with a strainer to remove the lumps and placed it into the bowl.

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I mixed well, and then added the rest of the lavender buds until they were evenly blended.

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I put them in the two containers provided, and had enough to place more in another jar.

I decorated the jars with my ribbon, twine, and burlap.

Here are a couple after photos.  These were such a fun and easy homemade gift to make.  The kit is perfect for the crafter at heart.

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A big THANK YOU to my sponsor, Skinny Cow for providing me with this kit!  Loved it!​ Check out my ultimate spa girls night that I made these for!

06th Sep2013

Ultimate DIY Girls Spa Night

by Dinah Wulf

Where do I begin?  Being a part of the Skinny Cow Influencer Program has been amazing. First, I got to introduce you to my obsession and WoCavé sanctuary, my craft room.  Then, Skinny Cow sent me on my first Mission of three which was a girl’s craft night with my best friend. My second Mission, was a crazy thrift store shopping spree with my bestie complete with a driver and all. Finally, today I am excited to share with you THE ULTIMATE DIY Girls spa night!

Now, there are a few things you need to have a successful spa night like we did… I will share the tutorials for the kits next week!

ONE

You definitely need a WoCavé for an Ultimate DIY Girls Spa Night.  As a reminder, a WoCavé {wo-cah-vay} is short for “Woman Cave”. It can be any place that you are in your truest self, where you are both fabulous and flawed, but ALWAYS celebrated! Mine is my craft room!

TWO

Every girl I know loves to celebrate with some sweet treats.  For this spa mission, my girlfriend and I enjoyed Skinny Cow’s Pretty In Pink Truffle Bars and Chocolate Covered Low-Fat Ice Cream in a Chocolate Cone. Yowzers! I had one of each… ok, well two of each (they were SO good and we did A LOT of crafting! I worked up an appetite!)

THREE

A Crafter’s spa night isn’t complete without a DIY bath salts kit {tutorial to come}.  We made and packaged some pretty lavender bath salts to give to our friends. It was so fun!

FOUR

Next we tried out an Apprentice perfume kit.  At first we were intimidated by trying out different scents, but I ended up with an Apple/Rose/Amber combo which smelled amazing!

FIVE

Being that I am obsessed with lip balm, this kit was the most exciting for me to make {tutorial coming soon}.

SIX

After all this crafting (and eating) you DEFINITELY need to wind down with a Massage Therapist!  We each had a thirty minute massage that topped off our busy day of creative bonding in the WoCavé!

Here are some photos of what we made on our spa night Mission.  We had a great time, creating, chatting, and relaxing together.  It couldn’t have been a better night.

If you haven’t checked out my other Missions yet please do so! This was an amazing opportunity for me to be sent on these three Skinny Cow Missions. I would have to say that they were probably some of the most fun and memorable times in my Blogging career!

I am honored to be a Skinny Cow brand Influencer for the WoCavé Program.  Products and monetary compensation were provided by Skinny Cow. All opinions are 100% my own.

15th Aug2013

How to Make a Bandana Skirt

by Dinah Wulf

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I can completely relate to my guest feature today, my friend Monika from Life with Lovebugs.  Both of our daughters are super girly and love to twist and twirl in skirts and dresses.  She made the most adorable skirt for her daughter made from bandanas she found for $1.00 each at Walmart.  With some help of Joann Crafts for inspiration and a brochure for how to use wide knit elastic as a waist band, she started working.

Monika used four bandanas to make her daughter’s skirt.  In four easy steps and a few supplies including four bandanas, elastic, and basic sewing supplies, she made this whimsical skirt.

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She folded each bandana to make triangle shapes all around the skirt. Using a zigzag stitch, she sewed each end down on each side.   In ten minutes and no hemming she was able to craft this very cute and simple skirt!

Thank you SO much Monika for letting me share this fun and colorful skirt that I think my daughter would love too!  I’m not great at sewing but Monika’s tutorial looks easy to follow that even I may be able to do it!

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For all the detailed step by step instructions and photo tutorial, visit Monika on her blog Life with Lovebugs! You can also purchase her amazing creations at her shopYou will find baby clothes, bibs, headbands, hair clips, and more.  You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tell her DIY Inspired sent you!

29th Jul2013

Wocave Mission #1: Girl’s Craft Night Out

by Dinah Wulf

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I am once again ELATED by my sponsors at Skinny Cow! You may recall my introduction to my craft room sanctuary also known as my WoCavé. So far, it has been shared over 600 times thanks to YOU! Today I am sharing my first WoCavé Mission, a girl’s craft night out!

OK, I have to be honest.  Now that I’m a Mom and many of my besties are also Moms, scheduling a girl’s night out is a little tough these days.  For me, however, craft time with my best friend and no kids is JUST as good… day or night. Am I right?  With the help of Skinny Cow, my best friend Jen and I raided Michael’s for our beloved craft time together and bought some supplies.

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Our husbands were kind enough to take the kids for a few hours and Jen and I had some amazing girl bonding time in my WoCavé.  We crafted these awesome accessories including some rings, earrings, and barrettes.

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We got to chat and craft uninterrupted by our little ones and eat some Skinny Cow Cookies and Dough ice cream bars. Isn’t Jen cute? I heart her!

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Here is the AFTERMATH.

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JUST KIDDING! We didn’t eat ALL the ice cream.  When our much needed craft time was over, we shared it with our husbands and kids.  They loved it!

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Now, for my next Skinny Cow WoCavé Mission #2… here are a few hints…

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  • “What’s your lowest price?”
  • A pink measuring tape and a recycled tote is a MUST
  • Ice cream sandwiches

Any guesses???? I CAN’T WAIT!!!

Before I go I want to share two more EXCITING things:

  1. TOMORROW, July 30th at 3pm EST, interior decorator Melissa Micheals (@theinspiredroom) will be hosting a Twitter party to offer tips on creating the ULTIMATE Wocave (@TheSkinnyCow).  The first 25 fans who ask Melissa a question will receive a fun surprise! Use #askMM, #WoCave, and #SkinnyCow.  AND…
  2. Did you know that August 1st is National Girlfriend Day? Take this special day to celebrate with your besties in YOUR WoCavé just like Jen and I did!

I can’t wait to share Mission #2 with you!

I am honored to be a Skinny Cow brand Influencer for the Wocave Program.  Products and monetary compensation were provided by Skinny Cow. All opinions are 100% my own.