DIY Planner Dashboard From A Tissue Box

diy planner divider from a tissue box

I love making dashboards for my planner! You can buy them, but designing your own is way more fun. To make one, all you need is a tissue box, glue and some scrapbook paper.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a planner dashboard is used as a divider that is typically made of plastic or cardboard. Some people use them to store post-its, some are used as a storage folder (which I’ve also DIYed if you’re interested), others use them as a place to keep their checklists.

I like many of these options, but right now, I need something to segment pages, much like a bookmark. I’ve tried page corner bookmarks and paperclip bookmarks to keep my place, but I open it and shuffle through the pags too often and they keep falling off or damaging the pages. I need something that’s easier to move around like a dashboard.

Of course, I didn’t want to buy one, so I made my own and I’ll show you how I did it below. Keep reading!

tissue box planner divider supplies

Planner dashboard supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

tissue box pieces for craft

Step 1: cut apart your tissue box

Disassemble your tissue box and cut off the long edges on the sides. You could use the bottom too, if you want a larger dashboard.

planner divider base from tissue box

Step 2: determine the size of your dashboard tab

I wanted my dashboard to have a tab so I can find my place faster. I decided how tall it should be and measured and cut for that space.

scrapbook paper planner divider cover

Step 3: measure the scrapbook paper to fit your dashboard

Trace your dashboard base (from the previous step) onto the scrapbook paper.

Then cut out the shapes.

tissue box craft idea

Step 4: decorate your planner dashboard

Glue the scrapbook paper cut outs onto the front and back of your dashboard to add some flair!

I really like this yellow and blue scrapbook paper. It’s such a fun, modern design that matches my planner perfectly.

Let the glue dry.

At this point, you could laminate the dashboard if you want. This enables you to write and erase or just protect the paper.

hole punching for your happy planner

Step 5: hole punch the dashboard to fit in your planner

Hole punch the dashboard and put it wherever you want in your planner!

Depending on the type of planner you have, you might need a specific kind of hole punch. Mine requires one for a disc bound planner. I don’t have the right kind of hole punch so I cheat a little bit.

In the image above, you’ll notice that I’ve used another page in my planner to mark where the holes should go. Then I took a regular hole punch (single) and punched a hole over each mark. Then I used my scissors to cut a slit up to the hole so it will fit around the discs.

diy planner divider from a tissue box

When you’re finished, you’ll have something like this!

I’m loving my new dashboard. I can find my place much faster and it keeps my pages from getting ripped up from.

Eventually, I’m planning to design dashboards with motivational says and images you can colors to add some individuality. I’ll post a link to that when I do.

In the meantime, I’d love to get your thoughts on this process. Have you made your own dashboards? If so please share your pictures on social media using #MakeSomethingMondays!

DIY Beginner's Planter

self draining planter

If you’re new to growing plants, this easy DIY project will definitely help you get started!

A few years ago, I got really excited about growing plants like herbs, vegetables, etc. Stuff I could use in the kitchen. But, I learned very quickly that I’m bad at it because I didn’t know how much water my plants needed.

I followed the advice of friends and started with a mint plant. “You can’t kill mint” they said. Well, I killed 3 of them before I figured out how to properly water them. If I had known about this draining option, I would’ve been enjoying herbs in my food and drinks much faster!

All you need is a plastic bottle so this is great opportunity to upcycle! When you’re finished with your orange juice or soda, hang onto the bottle and use it for your very own beginning planter! Follow the steps below to make your own.

self-draining planter supplies

Self-watering planter supplies

  • scissors
  • hammer
  • potting soil
  • screwdriver or nail
  • use plastic container

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

upcycle plastic orange juice container

Step 1: cut off the top of your container

Cut off the top 1/3 of your container. Make sure the part the tapers inward is all on the top. You can see how it will be used in the image below.

homemade self-draining planter

Step 2: create the self-draining container

Flip the top section of the container upside down and place it in the bottom section.

Now, fill it with soil.

self watering planter

Step 3: plant your seeds

Stick a finger into the soil to create a space for your seeds or plant.

Now you can place the seed inside and cover it up. If you’re planting more than one, make sure you check how far apart and how deep they should be planted. Full disclosure, I’m kind of bad at that part.

I’m planting garlic from bulbs, not seeds, and I know that they need to be planted about a thumb-size deep and need to be about 4″ apart. After I took this picture, I decided to move one of the bulbs because I didn’t think they would be both get enough nutrients.

self watering planter

When you’re finished, you should have something that looks like this.

Now you can water your plant. The water will fall into the bottom of the container and you won’t have to worry about overwatering your plant. But pay close attention to how much water your plant needs. Once you have a good idea of how much to use, you can transfer your plant to another pot and plant something new in this one.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave them in the comments.

DIY Candle Holder From Alcohol Bottles

candlesticks burning in alcohol bottles

Did you know you can repurpose your old alcohol bottles as candlestick holders? It looks classy and vintag-y all at the same time. I love it!

Save your wine, whiskey, beer, and vodka bottles. You don’t even have to take the label off. It’s a nice way to upcycle glass since it generally takes longer for them to get recycled anyway. If you could reuse them, why not? Especially if you’re adding some oomph to your living room, man cave, patio, or wherever.

There’s actually a cute Italian restaurant in my hometown that uses their old wine bottles to make these, which is where I got the idea. I’ve always loved that they place a bottle at each table to give it a romantic element.

Want to make your own? Grab the supplies and follow the steps below.

alcohol bottle candlestick holder supplies

Candlestick holder supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

Note: Larceny bottles don’t work for this craft. I found that out after taking the supplies picture. However, most wine, whiskey, and beer bottles will work.

candlestick in glass bottle

Step 1: size your candlesticks

Adding the candlesticks to the bottle as is can be a bad idea. It makes the bottle topheavy and it can topple over.

I recommend breaking or cutting your candles to keep them from extending too high above the bottle top.

I like to stick the candlestick in upside down (wick inside the bottle) to see which point on the candlestick is thick enough for it to fit in the bottle opening. Then, I break it a bit lower than that area.

You can also use scissors or a knife to shape the top of the candle if you had to break it toward the bottom and can’t use the original top.

So break your candlestick and wedge it into the bottle opening.

diy candlestick holder from alcohol bottles

Step 2: light the candle

Yep, it’s that easy. when your candle is secure in the bottle and you’re sure it won’t fall out, go ahead and light it.

Wax will drip down the side of the bottle and possibly onto the surface it’s sitting on, so I recommend setting them on a plate or some other base to catch the wax.

candlestick wax dripping

You know, these would be great for events like weddings or banquets. They make beautiful centerpieces!

I’d love to get your thoughts! Have you tried this before? If you made one, where would you put it?

Happy crafting!

DIY Fall Tin Can Lantern

Fall tin can lantern

Do you know what’s strange? I don’t love decorations. I’ve always taken a realistic/pragmatic approach to holidays and I can’t find a reason to buy festive decorations just to keep them in a closet for the majority of the year. BUT I do love crafting and upcycling. If I can do them both at the same time, then I’m all over it.

The plus side is that if I make something festive, friends know that it’s out of character for me. Sometimes, they will ask if they can have the festive thing I just made. I’m more than happy to give it to them. 🙂

I digress… this lantern was such a fun project. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was sick a few weeks back and ate a lot of soup, so I have a number of tin cans just waiting to be upcycled!

This is an easy one because you probably have all of the supplies in your house already, except maybe the spray paint. It’s perfect for sitting outside as the sun goes down to provide some extra light and keep the bugs away. You could even make an adorable fall centerpiece out of these if you made a few.

Want to make your own? Grab the supplies listed below and keep reading!

Quick tip: if you want the avoid the hammered look, fill your can with water and put it in the freezer for a few hours before you get started. The ice will help the can keep it’s shape.

tin can fall lantern supplies

Upcycled lantern supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 


Leaf art on tin can

Step 1: tape leaf clip art to the can

Tape your leaf printout to your tin can.

hammered tin can fall lantern

Step 2: create a leaf outline

Pick a point on your leaf and hammer the nail through that point the can.

Continue this process around the outline of the leaf.

gold spray painted upcycled tin can

Step 3: paint the can

I used white spray paint to put a base layer on the tin can.

After it dried, I added a second splotchy layer of gold to make it unique and give it some flair.

Step 4: hammer out the imperfections (optional)

Now you can hammer the inside of the can to even out the surface if you’d like.

I chose not to do this step. Fall is all about change and imperfection. Here, in lovely Pennsylvania, fall is cold and everything begins to die. But somehow, its incredibly beautiful. I wanted to capture beauty with the colors and imperfection with the hammered look.

That’s it! Throw a flameless tealight or small candle (may I recommend apple cinnamon, orange spice, or pumpkin) in there and you’ll have yourself a fancy new fall candle holder.

I’d love to get your thoughts! Leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting! 🍁

DIY Planter from Upcycled Tin Cans

diy planter from upcycled tin cans

I have been sick for about a week now, which means I’ve been eating a lot of store-bought soup. Which also means I have a lot of tin cans.

Since I’m getting to the end of my sickness, I don’t have a lot of energy but still wanted to make a craft to lift my spirits. Creating something always makes me happy 🙂

What better to craft with than my new stockpile of cans, right? I like upcycling, why not? I’ve had a parsley and mint plant that’s needed a new home for a while, so I decided to go with planters this week.

I love this craft because most people have cans laying around and a lot of people like plants. Clearly, I’m not the blossoming flower type of girl based on my choice this week, but I do enjoy herbs. Whatever your preference, your plants can have a brand new recycled home.

diy tin can planter supplies

Recycled planter supplies

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

tin cans with wooden feet

Step 1: add feet to your tin cans

Glue your wooden feet onto the bottom of the tin cans.

You can use any strong adhesive for this. I’d recommend super glue that is durable and waterproof. I love Gorilla Glue, but you can pick whatever you like.

Let it dry.

spray painted tin cans

Step 2: spray paint your tin cans

Spray your Rustoleum paint onto the cans.

In the link in the supply list above, I’ve sent you to a Pure Gold color, which I originally wanted but couldn’t find when purchasing. Instead, I got Gilded Brass which I like a lot. Your pick! Remember to choose an outdoor, or water-resistant spray paint.

Let it dry.

homemade planters from old tin cans

Step 3: repot your plants

If you’ve decided not to add holes to your tins for drainage, it’s a good idea to add the marbles people typically used in vases. It lets the water drain so your plants’ roots don’t stay too wet.

Now you can move your plants from their starter pots to their homemade planters!

Beautiful, and made with love! You can keep these for yourself or give them as a gift. Mine are going on my kitchen windowsill to soak up the sun. Maybe later I’ll make one for my office.

I’m also planning to make some hangers for them, so come back for that in a few weeks if you want to learn to make those, too!

I’d love to get your thoughts! Please leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting!

How to Remove Rust From Dumbbells and Weight Plates

rusty olympic weight plates

When my husband and I decided to buy a house, one of his only requirements was that it had room for a gym. Fortunately, we found a home with space. When we started buying weights, we learned that, to get a good deal, you sometimes have to settle for rusty weight plates and dumbbells.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to remove the rust. So, If you’re trying to get a discount on weights, don’t let the rusty ones deter you from buying them. It’s a smelly process, but totally worth it.

Follow the instructions below to try it yourself.

UPDATE 8/10/2019: we’ve been using our revamped weights and dumbells for over a year now and they still look as good as new! There hasn’t been any chipping of spray paint or re-rusting. I highly recommend this process.

Supplies needed to remove rust from weights

 My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

When we got the weights they looked like this. Not totally covered in rust, but they were not in the best shape.

steel brush the weights

Step 1: brush off the rust

Using a stainless steel bristle brush, scrape off as much of the excess rust and chipping paint as  possible.

Step 2: Soak the weights in vinegar and water

Pay attention to the recommended dilution ratio on the vinegar you buy. Use that ratio of water and vinegar and soak the weights for about 3 days.

I recommend keeping them somewhere you don’t have to spend much time because it smells bad. We did it in our garage.

Also, when you finished and ready to dump out your solution, make sure you pour it down a large drain and not in your yard. The vinegar will kill your grass.

Note: We used 4 bottles (64 fl oz) of vinegar. We also took some of the less rusty weights out earlier and got similar results. If your weights have a lot of rust, they will need more time in the solution.

weight plate after rust removal

Step 3: Dry the weights

Take the weights out of the vinegar solution and dry them really well. If they’re exposed to moisture, they’ll begin to rust again.

The olympic plate in the image above is the same plate pictured in step 1. It looks much better now. It has not been spray painted yet either! I was shocked to see the difference!

spray painted weight plates

Step 4 (optional): spray paint the weights

While not necessary, I recommend taking some extra time to spray paint the weights. We used Rust-oleum 2x Paint + Primer. It’s desgined to cover rust and it’s worked well for us.

For comparison, in the image above, the first weight plate on the right has been spray painted with Rust-oleum. The one on the left was just removed from the vinegar solution and dried. It makes a big difference.

When you’re done, you’ll have some fancy, seemingly new weights. And they look so nice! You can hardly even tell a differnce in the texture anymore.

weights soaking in vinegar/water solution

Look how rusty those round iron dumbbells were. Pretty bad, right?

spray painted York dumbbells

These are the same ones. I’m not kidding!

So, if you’re considering buying weights or dumbells for your home gym, don’t avoid the rusty ones. And if you’re considering getting rid of your weights because they’re rusty, don’t do it! Use this process to fix them up instead.

Hope you enjoyed this one.

Happy crafting!

DIY Tiki Torch Bottles

My husband and I just built a patio and I’ve been so excited to spend time out there! Unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of lighting and there are a lot of bugs, which doesn’t create the best experience after dark.

We talked about buying tiki torches, but being the crafter that I am, I save a lot of bottles and jars so I decided to use what we had to make some for our outdoor table.

It took less than 10 minutes to make them and they work wonderfully! If you’d like to make your own, follow the steps below.

Tiki Torch Supplies

Note: Pick a bottle that has a twist-off cap. The couplings won’t fit just any bottle so choose wisely.

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

Step 1: fill the bottles with torch fuel

If you’re using weights in the bottles, now is the time to add them (before the fuel).

Be careful with this step. The fuel is flammable and can easily catch fire if it’s near an open flame so be sure to keep it off your hands and clothes and clean up afterward.

Take your bottles outside or to the sink and fill them with tiki torch fuel through the funnel. (I used one as well but forgot to add it to the pictures.) This is the easiest way to make sure the fluid is contained at all times.

Step 2: Add the couplings to the wicks

There are two important things to remember when setting up your coupling and wick.

  1. When you twist on the coupling, make sure the side with the black rubber pieces are facing the bottom of the wick. These pieces keep the coupling from moving around inside the bottle top.
  2. Keep the wick less than an inch above the coupling. That flame can get big, so keep the wick short.

Step 3: put the wick in the bottle

Push the wick and coupling into the bottle and you’re done!

Now you can take them to your table, light them, and enjoy!

Tiki Torch Safety

I’m probably telling you something you already know, but bear with me because I want you to be safe while you enjoy your new tiki torches. Please keep the following in mind while in use:

  • Tiki torch fuel is flammable. Be careful with the bottles around an open flame.
  • In addition, the bottles you’re using are glass. Please be careful around the bottles whether they are lit or not. If they get knocked over, that liquid will spill everywhere and the bottle could potentially break. Consider purchasing a tin bottle holder or bucket to keep bottles from tipping over.
  • Don’t overfill your bottle with torch fuel. As long as the wick is submerged, the wick will light. It doesn’t need to be filled to the rim to get a flame.
  • Don’t leave your torches unattended! We’re talking about fire here.
  • When you’re finished, extinguish your tiki torches. You want to make sure the flame is completely smothered before you go back inside.
  • Don’t use your tiki toches indoors.

Goodwill Lantern Upcycle

Goodwill lantern upcycle

I love Goodwill. It’s like a goldmine with all its discarded goodies. Among these goods was this roughed up lantern. Look at the chipped paint and ugly flowers. Ugh. That has to go.

Goodwill lantern purchase

It’s definitely in rough shape but I knew I could save it, so i bough it… for $2.99! I immediately went to buy spray paint and headed home to beautify it.

lantern improvement supplies

Lantern improvement supplies

  • paper (optional)
  • pencil (optional)
  • scissors (optional)
  • razor blade (optional)
  • spray paint
  • old lantern

If you can remove the glass, the first four supplies aren’t necessary.

cover lantern glass with paper

Step 1: remove or cover the glass

If you’re lucky enough to find a lantern with removable glass, then celebrate and remove it because this project just became a lot easier. I spray painted the outside before I realized I could take the glass out. Duh!

If you can’t remove it, measure it, cut paper to that size and tape it on. You’ll have to repeat this on the inside as well.

 

spray paint the lantern

Step 2: spray paint the frame

Spray paint your lantern and let it dry.

Flip it and repeat until the whole lantern is covered.

 

Use a razor to clean lantern glass

Step 3: remove spray paint from glass

If you get spray paint on the glass, don’t worry! It comes off. Get yourself a razor blade, hold it at a 45 degree angle and, with light pressure, scrape away the paint. Be careful not to scratch it.

You might want to clean the glass before decorating it.

Goodwill lantern upcycle

Since it’s fall, I added some craft pinecones and turned on my flameless tea light. It’s beautiful!

lantern decor

Don’t pass up the “junk” in thrift stores. There’s a lot of value in the old and unfinished. Sometimes you have to rummage for them, but they’re there.

Happy crafting, and upcycling!

DIY Upcycled Halloween Candy Bowl

diy upcycled halloween candy bowl

Every year, the kids in my apartment complex get to participate in Trick or Treating. Unfortunately, we’re not home very often and Halloween is no exception. So, I always put a big bowl of candy outside the door and let the kids take what they want.

This year, I decided to upgrade my candy bowl by decorating a old dish washer pod container. Originally, I wanted to make a pumpkin out of it, but I couldn’t find orange Duck Tape anywhere. So, obviously, that didn’t work out. I had to settle with my witch hat decorated box.

If you’d like to make your own, follow the steps below.

 

diy duck tape candy bowl supplies

Duck Tape candy bowl supplies

  • scissors
  • witch hat outline
  • Dish washer pod container
  • Duck Tape (purple, black and green)

 

witch-hat-template

Step 1: download the witch hat

Right click on the image above and open the image in a new tab. Then click print.

You can choose to scale the image if you need a smaller or larger version.

 

black duck tape base

Step 2: layer on the black Duck Tape

Wrap the container with black Duck Tape.

 

Step 3: cover the witch hat with Duck Tape

place your hat on a flat surface and cover it with purple Duck Tape.

Then, peal it off and flip it over.

Begin cutting around the hat.

 

duck tape witch hat

Step 3: decorate the hat

Wrap a thin strip of green Duck Tape around the hat.

 

diy upcycled halloween candy bowl

Step 4: tape the hat to the container

Create tape rolls and use them to adhere the hat to the container.

You’re finished! Set your candy bowl out on the table out outside the door if you’re in an apartment complex and wait for the Trick or Treaters to come.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments.

Happy crafting!

DIY Bottle Cap Wreath

diy bottle cap wreath

As we sit here, me writing, you reading, I’m drinking beer. Most of the time, that beer comes in a bottle and I refuse to throw away those bottle caps. I figured I could use them for something. Lo and behold I found a purpose… I made a bottle cap wreath!

beer bottle caps

I have no idea how many it took to cover the form, but I do know it took about 1.75 pasta jars filled with caps. I counted the first row I glued on and there were 23. There are 5 rows, so I’ll guestimate around 115. However, I only covered the front half.

So, save your bottle caps and make something fun!

bottle cap wreath supplies

Bottle cap wreath supplies

  • sponge brush
  • bottle caps
  • black paint
  • wreath form
  • black ribbon
  • hot glue and gun

My content contains affiliate links to products I use and love. If you take action (purchase, subscribe) after clicking the links, I get some crafting money which helps me continue to write awesome tutorials for you! This costs you nothing but enables you to support my work. 

wreath painted black

Step 1: paint the wreath

Use the black paint to cover the wreath, front and back.

Let it dry.

Step 2: Glue on the first bottle cap layer

For the first layer, cover the front of the wreath by gluing on the bottle caps side by side. Make sure each is touching the one beside it.

Step 3: layer the bottle caps

Add a layer above and below your base row.

Then, add two more layers over top, covering up the space where you can see the black paint between each layer.

diy bottle cap wreath

Add a pretty bow and hang it up! You’re finished.

Grab a jar and upcycle those bottle caps so you can make fun craft projects like this one.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments!

The Craft Challenge

This tutorial is part of The Craft Challenge 2017. The ladies listed below are all contributors and have their own unique tutorial to share with you! Take some time and check out their September craft projects.

Links will be updated to their tutorials when their posts are available.

Emily from A Pop of Red: Burlap Flower Decor