DIY Beach-Inspired Bracelets

DIY beach-inspired bracelets

I am so excited that summer is coming! So, for this Make Something Mondays DIY craft, I decided to make beach-inspired bracelets. I found some really cute beachy charms, like a flower, anchor, and old-style ship wheel and attached them to some smaller chains.

It didn’t take much more than 15 minutes, and they look adorable. I think I’m going to make some anklets for the beach this summer, too.

 

DIY bracelet materials

Things You Will Need:
Clasps
Chains
Charms
Pliers*

*Optional items

 

bracelet flower charm

Step 1
Attach your charm to each side of the bracelet chain so it is centered.

 

bracelet clasps

Step 2
Attach your clasps at the ends of your chain.

 

DIY beach-inspired bracelets

You should have something that looks like the above image. Very beachy!

If you try to make them, let me know how it goes and be sure to send me pictures! I love seeing the crafts you make.

I had a lot of fun making them.

Happy crafting!

 

What Do You Want to See

I’ve been getting hits on a lot of odd pages lately and it has me confused. A year ago I was confident that I knew exactly what my followers and readers enjoyed, but now I’m not entirely sure. So, I want to know what you prefer.

By voting in the poll below, you give me a better idea of what types of posts you like to see and I can give you more of that. The poll will be open for 1 week and the results will be final.

Thank you to everyone who votes! You input is always appreciated. Leave me some comments if you want to see something that I don’t have listed. I’d love to hear it!

Guest Post: Beginner Card Making 101 by HafsaCreates

Hello! My weekend has been very busy ad I did not have time to make a craft today ūüôĀ this is only the second time I’ve missed a Make Something Mondays in 3.5 years. Makes me sad.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a replacement and I found this great beginner card making tutorial that I thought you would all enjoy. Let me know what you think!

Where to Find Creative Inspiration on the Web

Last week, I wrote an article on how to beat creative block. From that article, I got a lot of questions about where I look for inspiration. That is a good question. Aside from going for a walk or talking to someone else, I get creative inspiration from other people. There is a pool of artists and designers out there who upload their work and ideas to websites and forums. But, which are the best ones to browse when you’re stuck in a rut? I’ve compiled some of my favorites for you.

For Design Inspiration

I Love Typography

i love typography

I go to this blog when I’m going through a font phase. Most designers drool over fonts on a regular basis, but I get in moods. Whether you realize it or not, font has a very important role in our everyday lives. You might overlook an ad just because the font doesn’t match the design. You’ll notice it when you see one designed by someone who has no idea what they are doing. All of the designers in crowd will be like “That doesn’t fit with those curves at all! They should’ve used Futura instead”, or something along those lines. This is a great place to learn about fonts and to discover new ones.

The Matboard

The Matboard

The Matboard¬†is like a mixture between Behance and Pinterest. It is one of the greatest sites ever for creative inspiration. You can upload work, browse work, and network with other designers. When ¬†can’t find something art related on Pinterest, this is my go-to site. It really is fantastic for all types of project inspiration.

Behance

Behance

I know, this is a common one. But you have to remember that it is common because it is GOOD. You can find all kinds of creative projects on here whether you are looking for graphic design, illustration or website projects, Behance has it all. I also enjoy the project shuffle filter that gives you random projects that you might like. It is also a good way to find a creative company if you are looking to get some marketing materials made.

For logo Inspiration

LogoPond

LogoPond for logo design inspiration

LogoPond has always been one of my favorite sites for logo inspiration. Every design on that site is clean and and thought out. It isn’t just a dump of work. The site is organized and highly functional, just how I like it.

Random Inspiration

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is bookmarking site. You can designate your interests and it will show you information based on your likes. When you go to a site through StumbleUpon, you can choose to like it or dislike it. Over time, the site learns what you like over what you dislike, and can show you articles or websites based on your interests. You can also add sites or articles to the StumbleUpon. It will ask you for the URL, some keywords, a category that it fits in, and a description. This way, it can share that page with other users that have the same interests as you do. It is pretty cool. I use this one when I’m bored, mostly (which isn’t as often as I would like it to be). But it is also very helpful for finding inspiration on a specific topic.

Pinterest

Pinterest

Go ahead and yell at me if you feel the need to, but I LOVE Pinterest. It doesn’t matter what I am looking for, I can always find it here. Sometimes, I just go there for color palettes. It sounds strange, but just looking at the screen shot above, I can pick out fun and new ones. I love it!

When you’ve hit a wall and you need some inspiration where do you go? What do you do? I want to hear about the sites you visit when you’ve hit a wall.

DIY Fitness Motivation Board

DIY fitness motivation board

In January, everyone decides to sign up for a gym membership to lose weight or “get fit” and it drives me nuts, because the gyms are packed for about 3 months.¬†Every March they start to clear out again because about half of those people seem to lose their motivation to get there. I can relate to that though. Fitness is 100% mental for me, and for many others. Doing the work isn’t the hard part, but getting to the gym is. I never made a New Years resolution to lose weight or get fit. That is not my issue. I’ve been going to the gym for a long time now, but getting the motivation to go to the gym is where I struggle.

I’m a busy person, like many of you. But we all need to remember that we need to make time for the things we want to do. That is the bottom line. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of our goals and why we set them. So, this is why, for this week’s Make Something Mondays project, I decided to make my own fitness motivation board. This board is going to remind me of my goals so that I can make better choices to help me reach those goals.

fitness motivation materials

Things You Will Need:
Tape
Thumb tacs
Cork board
Motivational images or quotes

fitness motivation

Step 1:
Gather your motivational images and cut them out. I chose images that represented my goals, had motivational quotes, and funny images to keep the humor when I’m burnt out. Pick whatever images make you respond the most. Something that is going to get you off of the couch.

arranging motivational images on boards

Step 2:
Organize your images to fit on your cork board. I picked up my boards from Michael’s and got 4 separate boards in one pack so I organized my images to fit in sections.

motivation board with meal organizer

Step 3:
Hang it up on the wall as a reminder.

I also added a marker board for meal prep. I’ve decided that preparing meals in advance will save a lot of time during the week, and who doesn’t need that? I’ll let you know if that works out for me.

DIY fitness motivation board

There is quite a variety of athletic goals on my board. I’m very exciting to meet those goals and replace the old images with new ones. I think the yoga goals will be the hardest to meet. I have others representing running, a Tough Mudder, and lifting goals. I think my favorite humorous image is the fat monkey that says “didn’t run today”. Ha!
If you are interested in putting together a fitness motivation board, you can find A TON if images on Pinterest to get you started. If you want some of the images I have in my tutorial, you can check out my Fitness board. It is shameful how many images I have on there… so don’t make fun ūüėČ
Happy crafting!

How to Beat Creative Block

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, an artist, or a designer;¬†all creatives get creative block and many of us just ride it out. One day you’ll get another great idea. But you have to beat it! Creative block is a mind set and you can’t let it take over or it will consume other areas of your life. So I’ve compiled some of my best remedies for overcoming it.

How to Beat Creative Block

Creative Block Busters You Can Use Right Now

Brainstorming

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it is an incredible (yes, I’m that enthusiastic about it) exercise to get all of your ideas out on the table. If you’re working on a project and you just can’t come up with a good idea, try brainstorming. Get it all out. Write it all down on paper whether it is the best or worst idea you’ve ever had. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes your brain gets foggy because you have so much on your plate that you can’t focus.¬†When you’re finished, take a look at your ideas. Cross out the terrible ones and focus on the good.

Brainstorming is always my go-to approach when I’m stuck because, I have ideas, but they don’t make sense until their on paper. If you’re a visual learner, like most creatives, then this approach will likely work. Don’t shun it…

Get Outside

Getting over creative block can be as easy as changing your surroundings. Take your notepad or your sketchbook and get outside. Being surrounded by nature helps to clear your mind so that you can focus on more important things. Go for a walk, sit on a bench, or go weed your garden. There are some beautiful things in the world and, sometimes those visuals give you the inspiration you are looking for.

Do Something Else

I know, this is the last thing you want to do when you’re frustrated because you can’t come up with that groundbreaking idea. But the more you stress about it, the worse it is going to get. If you go and do something you enjoy, the activity destresses you, and then you can come back to your project with an open mind.

Being stressed really hinders your ability to be productive. ¬†Research has shown that happy people are more creative. You can’t argue with that!

Clean

It sounds ridiculous, I agree, but every time I’m stressed about a project (or anything really) I clean. I think that cleaning is such a mindless activity that it clears your mind and helps to calm you down. That is if you aren’t getting mad that everything is such a mess all the time.

Doodle

Doodling has always been my escape. Just draw something. Anything. It doesn’t even have to be good, and no one else has to see it. Just like brainstorming, doodling helps you get things off of your mind and it helps you focus at the same time. When I was a freelance designer, I worked with a company that encouraged doodling during their morning meetings. They told me they always got better work from their employees throughout the day if they doodled while talking about their goals and projects. Who knew?

Check out these fun projects for some doodle inspiration:
DIY Doodle Bookmarks
Michelle Curiel: The Ultimate Doodler
Doodling on Vinyl Dolls

Creative Block Busters to Work On

Inspiration Boards

Whenever you see something creative, pin it to a inspiration board on Pinterest. It can be anything from photography, to ads, to articles. Having a bank of creative information at your finger tips can be a great fall back. Just browsing other creative work can really boost your spirits and get you back in the mood to make something new.

If you don’t use Pinterest, you could always put together an inspiration book for future reference.

Get Feedback

Talking to other people about your ideas, or lack of, can be a great motivator. Just because your stuck on something doesn’t mean that there’s no one out there who can help you. Even someone who is unfamiliar with your industry can be a big help. You could go find a coworker, ask questions in a forum, or start a conversation on social media. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been inspired to create something from a conversation I had with someone on Twitter or Google Plus. There are some great people out there who are always willing to give you feedback.

Learn Something New

Keep your brain active by continuously learning. Sometimes, creative block stems from lack of exposure. If you ensure that you are learning something new on a regular basis, there is less of a chance of getting stuck. Learning also improves confidence, which never hurts.

Make Time for Y-O-U

Of course, this is easier said than done, but making time for your hobbies helps you to relax. Everyone needs a little me time or they will eventually go crazy. You might love your job, but YOU have to be able to stay creative so YOU are the one you have to take care of. Take half an hour at the end of every night to do something that relaxes you, or just something that makes you happy. Maybe you take a hot bath, read a chapter in a book, or play video games. Just make sure that whatever you’re doing isn’t going to cause you any stress.

Networking

Find a group of creatives in your home town that you can collaborate with. Go to Meetups or other networking events to get in touch with people who enjoy the same things you do. When you are constantly surrounded by creative people, the creative block has to fight its way in.

That’s all I’ve got!

How do you beat creative block? If you have more ideas, leave them in the comments. I would love to hear how you stay creative at work and at home.

DIY Fabric Cord Carrier

DIY Cord Holder

I really hate when things get messy and disorganized, and that includes my cords. When I travel and carry my phone charger or kindle charger, they always get tangled and it started to get old. So, I decided to take care of the issue by finding a way to organize them. I used some scrap fabric and some magnets to make this handy cord holder. This is possibly one of the most useful DIY projects I will make this year. (At least I feel that way right now because I really needed this.)

I used pink thread against the black fabric so that you could see what I’m referring to in the pictures. But don’t make fun of my bad sewing because I did this by hand, and it has been quite a while since I’ve sewn anything.

DIY cord carrier materials

Things You Will Need:
Fabric
Needle
Thread
Magnet
Scissors

cut fabric

Step 1:
Cut your fabric to be just a bit longer and a bit wider than your scissors. My cord holder is pretty snug around my cord, so if you want some more space for a bigger/thicker cord, then cut accordingly.

Fold fabric

Step 2:
Fold the fabric in half (with the pattern on the inside so that you can’t see it) and round one end. Make sure you cut across the fold at the bottom.

Sew up the sides and around the top. Leave the flat side open so that you can flip the fabric pattern-side out.

magnet

sewn edges

Step 3:
Flip the fabric right-side out so that you can see the pattern.

Put one magnet inside the top and one magnet inside the bottom, and sew them in place.

You should have something like in the picture above.

DIY Cord Holder

When you’re finished, organize your cord and wrap the cord holder around it so that the magnets click together.

Now your cords won’t get tangled when you transport them. Aaaaannnndddd they’ll look pretty while you’re doing it. You could always use velcro if you don’t have magnets. There’s less sewing involved that way too. I’ll probably try a version like that as well.

Happy crafting!

#onething Creative Challenge

You’re busy. You have so much to do every day and I can totally relate. But when do you find time to do something just for you? Creativity is a massive energy booster and it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished more than just your daily schedule, so I am urging you to take the #onething creative challenge.

#onething creative challenge

The challenge: create one new thing every day for one year. The idea came out of the re:Design community in Google+ and has flourished ever since. It is a personal challenge to be true to your passion whether it be drawing, painting, cooking, writing, or anything else. Create something. Create anything. If you can’t do it every day, commit to once a week. Whatever works best for you.

Whenever you create something, post a picture of it on Google+, and tag it #onething. You will have a bevy of supports and a endless stream of creative projects to observe for inspiration, or just for fun.

Are you in? I am. You can follow me here.

These are just a few examples that I pulled from the stream:

rain drops on flowers #onething

By John Prothero

Create Light Painting #onething

By Katherine Tattersfield

banana graffiti #onething

By Matthew Price

turning trees into glass #onething

By Paul Biedermann

cabbin in the woods #onething

By Drew Myler