DIY Black Pearl Wire Wrapped Earrings

DIY Black Pearl Wire Wrapped Earrings

I was trying to figure out what to make for my craft today so I was looking through my supplies and found that I had a lot of wire laying around. What better project to work on with a bunch of wire than wire-wrapped earrings?

With the right tools, these earrings are very easy to make. You can make them without the tools but it is more time consuming and your fingers are definitely going to get roughed up. Your choice, though!

materials for DIY wire-wrapped pearl earrings

Things You Will Need
Jewelry wire
Earring hooks
Jewelry pliers
Thing-A-Ma Jig

**You can get the materials for these earrings at Michael’s or any other craft store.

wire-wrapped circle

Step 1
Make a circle with the top of your wire using the largest gauge on the pliers.

wire-wrapped bottom circle

Step 2
Using the largest circular peg that comes with your Thing-A-Ma Jig, wrap the wire around it so you have something that looks like the image above.

wire wrapped top circle

Step 3
To get a slightly smaller circle, wrap the remaining wire around one of the plier handles.

small wire wrapped circle

Step 4
Make the same small circle as your did in step 1, but instead of using the largest gauge, use the smallest.

black pearl wrapping

Step 5
Wrap your smaller wire around one side of the bottom circle, then slide your pearl onto the other end of the wire.

wire-wrapped pearl charm

Step 6
Do the same thing with the wire on the opposite side.

DIY Black Pearl Wire Wrapped Earrings

Attach your hooks and you have some adorable new black pearl earrings! Okay, they aren’t black pearls, they’re faux pearls, but I still like them just the same.

Let me know what you think!

DIY Glitter Christmas Ball Ornaments

DIY Glitter Christmas Ball Ornaments

Christmas is almost here and I’m betting there are a few of you who haven’t put all of your decorations on your tree yet. If not, you should make these glitter Christmas ball ornaments. It’s a super easy DIY project and you can even do it with your kids. You’re going to have a big glitter mess with, or without them, so you should just enjoy the bonding experience. If you let them pour the glitter in and shake it up, they’ll love it!

glitter christmas ornament materials

Things You Will Need
Glass pens
Super glue
Clear glass ornaments

Okay, so I didn’t actually use pledge. I’ve seen this done with Pledge but I didn’t have any. It’s cold here in lovely PA and I’m a baby about it, so I wasn’t planning on going to get any. I have this wood cleaner that I used instead and it worked just fine. I’m not really sure what the ingredient is that makes the glitter stick, but it’s working so I’m not going to question it.

Christmas bulb prep

Step 1
Remove the ornament cap and pour or spray some pledge into it.

swirl it around so that it covers the ball and pour it out.

glitter Christmas ornament

Step 2
While the ornament is still wet, pour the glitter in and shake it up (with your finger over the top). Make sure the glitter covers the whole inside of the ornament.

Warning: if you want to mix different colors of glitter, do it before you put it in the ornament. It won’t mix at all if you try to do it once the glitter is inside. Trust me. I failed miserably.

glitter ornament

Step 3
When you’re done, flip the ornament upside down and let it dry.

glued top ornament

Step 4
Flip the ornament over and super glue the top down so you don’t have a glitter explosion later on.

Christmas tree ornament

Step 5
Using your glass-safe pens, draw on your favorite holiday symbols, phrases, bible verses or whatever comes to mind.

DIY Glitter Christmas Ball Ornaments

When you’re finished you’ll have some really cute glitter ornaments that make great decorations for your tree or nice gifts to give.

Let me know what you think!

Happy crafting!

Candied Pecans As Christmas Gifts

Candied pecans gifted for Christmas

Some people are really hard to buy Christmas gifts for. There is one such person on my list this year and I’ve scoured the internet looking for a good idea. Nothing.

Later, while sulking on Pinterest I found this really great recipe for candied pecans on Paint Chips and Frosting (it’s a neat blog so take some time to check it out if you head over there). If you know me, you know that I’ll only cook if I have to so, naturally, I was a little apprehensive about trying to make these. If you’re in the same boat, don’t be worried, it’s cake.

Outside of the pecans, you probably already have everything in your kitchen.

After my first test batch earlier this week, I modified a few things. It tasted very good, but I made modifications because instead of actually following the directions and sprinkling the sugar mixture on top of the pecans, I dropped the pecans in the sugar mixture and covered them so I actually pulled in more of the sugar mixture than I had anticipated. Who can argue with more sugar and cinnamon?

Things You Will Need
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz pecan halves
Coconut oil

Preheat oven to 250.

Line your baking sheet with foil and spread a thin layer of coconut oil over it.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt in one bowl and whisk egg white, water, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.

Add a small amount of pecan halves to the wet mixture and stir.

Transfer those pecans to the sugar bowl and coat evenly.

Repeat until you’ve covered all of the pecans.

Spread pecans evenly across the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.

Stir them every 15 minutes or they will stick together.

Let them sit out for 10 minutes after baking.

When they’re finished, you can fill up a mason jar and decorate with scrapbook paper, ribbons, etc. They make a sweet gift!

DIY Jewelry Box From A Tin

DIY Jewelry box from a tin

Christmas is right around the corner and a lot of people give jewelry as a gift, so why not make a jewelry box to accompany your rings, necklaces or whatever you’re planning to gift?

This one is really easy to make, just a little time consuming. If you have an hour an a half and some cute scrapbook paper, you will be happy you spent the time to do this.

All you need is a tin box of some sort. I used a caffeine mint tin but you could use an Altoids tin if that’s what you have available.

DIY jewelry box materials

Things You Will Need:
Tin box
Mod Podge
Paint brush
Diamond Glaze
Scrapbook paper
Decorative elements
Scissors (or exacto knife)

jewelry box cut outs

Step 1
Trace the top/bottom of your tin box on the scrapbook paper 3 times and cut them out.

Measure the size of the sides of the tin and cut out appropriate-sized pieces of scrapbook paper.

beginning of jewelry box

top and bottom of tin

cut space for hinges

Step 2
Using the Mod Podge, start gluing the pieces into place. The 3rd piece your traced for the top/bottom of the tin will go on the inside top.

***Don’t forget to cut space in the scrapbook paper for the hinges so that it doesn’t rip the paper when you open the box again.

When all of that is glued into place, brush another layer of glue over the top of each section. This will add a protective layer that acts like a sealant.

inside layout planning

Step 3
Trace the bottom of the tin one more time but, with this one, do it on the plain side of the paper and only trace half of the tin. Then move it up about an inch and finish tracing the other half. This way, there’s extra space for the fold of the inside of the soon-to-be jewelry box.

tin box layout design

Step 4
Cut that last piece directly in half.

Place 1 section into the bottom of tin and fold the side closest to the middle upward.

Do the same thing with the other half so that the folded up pieces meet in the middle to create a barrier.

Glue the pieces to the bottom of the tin and in the center.

inside jewelry box tin

Step 5
Follow that same process with the designed side of the scrapbook paper but, don’t cut this one in half. Make sure this one folds over top of your center.

When you’re happy with the way it looks, glue it down.

Then, add another layer of glue over top of the inside pieces just like you did with the outside and inside top for a protective layer.

bedazzled tin box

Step 6
Bedazzle your jewelry box.

glazed top jewelry box

Step 7
When you’re happy with your box, add a single layer of Diamond Glaze over the top of the tin.

Let it dry (it will take several hours.). If there are any bubbles forming, you can use something small and sharp like a needle or pin to pop them.

DIY Jewelry box from a tin

upcycled tin jewelry box

When you’re finished, you’ll have an wonderfully unique jewelry box that your recipient will LOVE!

If you want to give it some extra oomph, you could glue a bead to each of the 4 corners of the bottom of the box to make some feet. I didn’t do it with this one because of the grunge style of the design, but if I had been going to a more feminine design, I definitely would’ve gone with legs.

Let me know what you think!

Happy crafting!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Him 2014

I’ve always hated buying people gift cards. It’s not that dislike receiving them, but it’s like saying I really have no idea what you like so here’s a gift card. If that person is important enough for you to buy something for, then you should have an idea of what they enjoy. Soooo I’m here to help you out.

I’m a big fan of Etsy so you’ll see a lot of ideas from that site. If you haven’t been on it yet, I highly recommend it. Products are a little more expensive, but they’re worth it and you’re supporting small businesses. You’ll also get a gift from there that is much more unique than you’ll find in stores.

Here’s my 2014 list of gift ideas for him. Let me know what you think, and if you have any ideas to add, please leave them in the comments. You’ll be helping a lot, trust me!

Ohhh, and if you’re looking for ideas for the lady, check out gift ideas for her, too!

***Click the images for links to the product.

Shop: RockyMountainWood

6-pack wooden beer carrier

6-pack wooden beer carrier- $39.99

I got my boyfriend one of these wooden beer carriers for Christmas this year and gave it to him early. He makes his own beer, so he’s constantly taking it along to events and parties. But transporting it in those flimsy cardboard carriers just wasn’t working out. This has served him well. I would highly recommend it.

Shop: signaturetshirts

Funny beard t-shirt

Funny beard t-shirt- $14.95

If you have a male friend who has pride in his beard, he might appreciate this funny t-shirt. “With great beard comes great responsibly.” At least it’s entertaining.

Shop: TheBestManGifts

Travel cigar case and humidor

Travel cigar case and humidor- about $49.95 (depends on purchase choices).

If the guy you’re buying for smokes cigars, you might want to consider getting him a travel humidor. Humidors keep cigars fresh until you’re ready to smoke them. Humidors you can travel with are a double thumbs up! Make sure you know what kind of cigars he prefers before you buy it, though. This case is relatively small and holds 3 Cigars of 48 Ring Gauge and 6.5 inch length. Some guys prefer the big cigars of 60 ring gauge and 7 inches. Take a look around at this shop while your at it. It’s called The Best Man Gifts so your likely to find something he likes if you didn’t find something here.

Shop: undulatingcontours

Wooden phone dock

Wooden phone dock- $36.00

I love this thing. I made my own device charging station a few weeks ago because I felt like all of my cords were disorganized and tangled. This might be an alternative. Especially if he lives alone and isn’t sharing chargers with anyone else. He can put his wallet, phone, watch and other essentials on it before he goes to bed. Very nice and elegant looking.

Shop: RCPersonalizedGifts

Personalized men's watch box

Personalized men’s watch box- $44.24

I know quite a few men with a watch obsession and I’m sure that all of them would appreciate a place to store all of their precious watches. What guy could argue with black leather and a monogramed glass top?

Shop: JooJoobs

Treasure chest wallet

Treasure chest wallet- $39.00

If he’s on the lookout for a wallet, Etsy is the place to go, and this little shop has some of the best one’s I’ve seen. very unique styles and good quality products.

From Amazon

Electric wine bottle open

Electric wine bottle open- $24.99

I know this isn’t a necessity by any means, and it’s really not that hard to get the cork out of the wine bottle, but have you ever seen this thing in action? It’s pretty cool to watch, especially through the clear bottom. If he likes wine, he might enjoy this gift.

12 gauge coaster set

12 gauge coaster set- $27.47

How much more manly can a coaster get? They’re designed to look like the bottom of a 12 gauge shotgun shell and come in a flattering holder. Perfect for the man cave.

AeroPress coffee (and espresso) maker

AeroPress coffee (and espresso) maker- $25.32

My boyfriend bought me of these for Christmas and it makes the best coffee I’ve ever tasted: very smooth and not bitter at all. It takes longer to make than the average pot of coffee, but the wait is totally worth it. If he’s a coffee addict, or even a coffee snob, he WILL love this.

If you want more ideas for him, check out the ongoing list I have on my blog (some are for birthdays or Valentine’s Day, but are still worth checking out) or you can take a look at my Treasury List on Etsy. This is where many of these ideas came from.

DIY Manly Beard Oil

DIY manly beard oil

I wouldn’t say my boyfriend is a burly man, but he has a beard and occasionally complains that it’s itchy. Recently, he was talking about buying beard oil and I said, don’t buy it. I bet I can make that. So, I did some research into the ingredients, we went to pick out a good combination of essential oils, and I tried to create something I knew he would love.

It worked out well and he seems to be enjoying his newly moisturized skin and beard.

This beard oil is super easy to make. The ingredients are little pricey up front, but they’ll last for a long time.

ingredients for manly beard oil

Things You Will Need:
Jojoba oil
Shot glass
Glass bottles
Sweet almond oil
Rosemary essentail oil
Sweet orange essential oil
Bergamot and fruit mix essential oil (found this mixture at Pat Catan’s a while ago).

I found most of my ingredients at Market District (Giant Eagle) but you can buy it all on Amazon, at GNC or The Vitamin Shoppe.

Jojoba and sweet almond oil mixture

Step 1
Fill your shot glass about half way with half sweet almond oil and half jojoba oil. Stir it well.

essential oils for beard oil

Step 2
Add in your essential oils. Stir well.

10 drops of the bergamot mixture
10 drops of the rosemary
15 of the sweet orange.

I know, it sounds like a lot, but it turned out really well. It wasn’t overpowering and my boyfriend loves the smell.

beard oil mini funnel

Step 3
Use your mini funnel to pour the oil into your glass bottle.

DIY manly beard oil

When you’re finished, cork or cap your bottle and enjoy! Make sure you shake the bottle up before each use to make sure the oils haven’t separated.

Since the bf was the test subject for this DIY project and he liked the oil so much, I’ve decided to make more and gift it to some other beardly friends. We’ll see how that goes.

Here are the glass bottles I’m planning on buying if you also want to look into them. It’s hard to find those kind of supplies locally.

Happy crafting!

Why Every Artist Needs A Mod Notebook

Mod Notebooks for every artist

I used to LOOOOOOVE Moleskine notebooks. The thick pages and hard cover really won me over. Not to mention the social community of artists they have. However, a few months ago I found these wondrous, perfectly-sized sketchbooks called Mod Notebooks and I think I have a new love in my life.

thick notebook pages

These notebooks also have nice thick pages and a hard cover, so what’s the difference?

Mod Notebooks- welcome page

Well, with Mod Notebooks, I have the ability to digitize all of my drawings. Actually, I don’t even have to do it. There’s a little pocket in the back of each notebook with a pre-paid shipping envelope inside. When I fill up the sketchbook, all I have to do is pop it in the mail. The company will digitize the book I sent them and all of my drawings will be accessible through the app within 5 days. Aaaaaand I can choose whether or not I want them to send the sketchbook back to me or recycle it.

Who can argue with a deal like that?

Who should have one?

Arguably, everyone. But I’m realistic and I understand that not everyone wants to spend $30 on all of that.

Any artists could benefit from using these sketchbooks. Architects, illustrators, crafters, CAD designers, product developers… the list goes on.

you can customize the pages to your preferences, too. If you need plain, dotted, or lined paper, it is available. I’m actually surprised that that didn’t have graph paper available, but I wouldn’t doubt that is coming.


Full disclosure: I was not paid to write this post. I am just a huge advocate of awesome sketchbooks and wanted to tell everyone I know about it.


DIY Coconut Peppermint Soap Bars

coconut peppermint soap bars

Before I get into this, I want to apologize. I was doing so well keeping up with a few posts a week and then I fell off the face of the earth after my last tutorial. With the holidays, I really didn’t want to do anything, as I imagine you didn’t. Soooo I’m coming back with a good tutorial for you this week: DIY coconut peppermint soap bars. Two of my favorite smells. Now, I’m not big into soap in bar form. I prefer body wash. But I do enjoy these because they don’t make my skin feel as dry as the typical bars. Possibly because it doesn’t have a ton of additives in it.

I’ve always wanted to make my own soap but was on the fence about it because of using lye. So, when I found ready-melt soap, I was ecstatic!

These soap bars are made with real oatmeal, peppermint oil, and coconut oil. The only thing I’m unsure about is the coloring I used. But it was designed for soap, so I gave it a shot. These would be a great gift Christmas gifts for your girlfriends or family members.

DIY coconut peppermint soap

Things You Will Need
Soap mold
Coconut oil
Soap coloring
Glass measuring cup
Peppermint essential oil
Oatmeal ready-melt soap block

You can find all of these materials at your local craft store except the essential oil and coconut oil. You can get a bottle of peppermint oil on Amazon but honestly, I would buy the intro kit. It’s cheaper and you get more. You can get the coconut oil at your local grocery store.

soap cubes in measuring cup

Step 1
Chop up your soap into little pieces. I started with about a cup of the cubes but decided to double it later on. Glad I did, because I wouldn’t have had enough to fill the molds if I hadn’t.

melted soap

Step 2
Microwave the soap cubes in 15 second intervals, stirring in between each session.

When all of your soap is melted, add in a tablespoon of coconut oil and between 5-10 drops of peppermint oil. Stir well.

pink melted soap

You’ll also want to add in coloring at this point. I used red coloring but it turned out more pink. I think because the oatmeal base is a brownish milky color. So add in whatever color you like a few drops at a time. Stir it up. Add more if you’d like.

soap in soap molds

Step 3
When you have a color you like, stir it one more time and pour it into the mold. As you can see, I went overboard on the coconut oil. Don’t worry though, I recommended that you use way less than I did.

Let your mixture sit for about 3 hours.

DIY Soap Bars

Step 4
When you have solid soap bars, go ahead and pop them out of the mold.

If you have trouble getting them out, let them sit in the freezer for a few minutes and try again.

coconut peppermint soap bars

Go ahead and wrap them up or store them in a container. They’re ready to use. They don’t suds as much as soap you would buy in the store, but it’s definitely refreshing!

Hope you liked this one! I will be testing out some other soap recipes in the upcoming weeks and will let you know if I come up with anything good.

This was actually my first time making soap, so I’d love to hear about your experiences with the process.

Happy soap making!