Wrapping Presents

Once you finish all that exhausting Christmas shopping, the fun part begins: wrapping presents!  Grab a glass bottle of wine and try one or all of these six DIY gift wrapping ideas to spruce up your holiday gifts, show off your craftiness, and minimize your cost of purchasing rolls and rolls of store-bought paper by re-purposing items around your house!

Attach holiday berries, pine cones, holly, or twigs to re-purpose brown paper bags or store-bought craft paper into beautifully dressed wrapping paper

KraftWrappingDecorate boxes with ribbon and small figurines

RoundBoxesCreate sweet holiday gift tags from leftover red and green candies

CandyGiftTagsCozy up your presents with those old wool sweaters

SweaterGiftStamp on your favorite design in any pattern

StampedLeftover yarn or string?  Turn it into a design and use in lieu of ribbon

Yarnedimages via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Zip It, Zip It Good

Hey everyone, Megan asked me to do a little guest post here at the Thread Affect and I couldn’t be more honored. I’m Lisha from One House One Couple, and my husband and I are documenting our house flip on our blog. You can swing by any time to take a look. You are always welcome at our “house”.

Today I wanted to give you a little sneak peak into my little life.

I ride my bike a lot, whether it be for fun, or to go to the store or whatever. Well, I realized I didn’t have anything to carry a key and some money in while I rode my bike, and I don’t like to lug my whole purse. Also, I was constantly worried my house key would fall out of my pocket while pedaling, and sometimes I wouldn’t even have a pocket to put it in! So I finally got around to making myself a little zipper pouch for that exact purpose.

I knew I wanted the inside and outside to be different fabrics. I actually went shopping at my friend’s “fabric store”. She buys fabric all the time and is always making stuff, so she has a ton of leftover fabric remnants from things she’s already made. I’m not super crafty, and this was the first time I ever made a zipper pouch (or anything with a zipper for that matter) so I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. So it was nice to just “borrow” some of her leftover fabric pieces instead of buying a whole piece, especially since this project is really small.

Here are the fabric selections I chose:

A fun vibrant orange pattern with hints of blues, and yellows, and then a plain bright green color for the other side.

First I decided about how big I wanted the pouch to be. I figured I would want to be able to fit my phone (which is smaller than an iPhone), some money, and a key inside it.

I cut 4 rectangles a half inch longer on each side than the size I wanted the finished product to be.

Then I sewed the pieces together, along with the zipper. (I forgot to take pics of the process, lame me). I ended up with the wrong color on the outside, lol! I wanted the colorful fabric on the outside, and the plain green on the outside, but I sewed the zipper the opposite way, so I ended up with it this way:

Take a look at the inside:

Overall, I was happy with what I ended up with. Not too shabby for not knowing how to deal with a zipper.

In the end, I decided to tie a piece of twine to the zipper and slide it around my wrist when I go for a bike ride. It works really well as a coin pouch too!

Let me know what you think about my first zipper pouch and leave a comment below 🙂

Thanks Megan for allowing me to do a guest post here at the Thread Affect!

DIY Chalkboard Platter

DIY Chalkboard Platter

Since I am unfortunately unable to create the ultra coveted chalkboard wall in my rental apartment, I settled for this much smaller DIY chalkboard platter inspired by Wit & Whistle and perfect for multiple entertaining purposes (think cheese and cookies!).

First a quick note about this particular porcelain paint I used through the recommendation of Wit & Whistle: the company states they do not recommend using this specific paint for surfaces that come in contact with food. However, it is water based, non-toxic, and Dick Blick suggests using it to paint a dinner plate so I don’t see the harm in simply placing cookies or cheese on it but just wanted to divulge all the important information. 🙂

Materials Needed:

porcelain platter (mine is from CB2, find it here)
Pebeo Porcelaine chalkboard paint (from Amazon or in 10 different colors at Dick Blick)
painter’s tape
soft bristle paintbrush
kitchen oven

Steps to Take:

1. Make sure your platter is completely clean and dry.  If desired, use painter’s tape to mask off the edges of the platter for clean, crisp lines, otherwise skip this step and freehand it.

2. Using a soft bristle brush, apply the paint in thin, even horizontal strokes. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.  Immediately remove the painter’s tape carefully before the paint from the second coat dries to ensure the edges don’t peel up when removing.  Let the second coat dry for 24 hours.

3. When the paint has dried for a full 24 hours, bake your platter following the instructions printed on the back of the paint bottle. If using the Pebeo Porcelaine Chalkboard Paint, preheat the oven to 300 degrees, bake 35 minutes, turn off the oven, leave the platter inside, and allow to cool to room temperature before removing.  After baking, the platter will be dishwasher and microwavable safe!

Have you ever chalked something? I would love to see all your chalkboard paint projects! Upload a picture or link to my Facebook Page to share!

Pinspiration from Wit & Whistle

Pinspiration: DIY Hex Nut Bracelet

Watches have easily become my daily go-to wrist accessory but when I saw this DIY Braided Hex Nut Bracelet (here) from Honestly..WTF I thought it would be the perfect trendy, masculine/rough addition to my sometimes boring wrist candy.

Materials You Need:  3 Strands Butcher’s Twine cut into 1 yard pieces and 18 Hex Nuts, you may need more or less depending on your wrist size!

Gather the three strands of butcher twine and tie into a knot leaving about two inches of slack for tying the bracelet onto your wrist.  Braid normally for about an inch.  Before you cross the far left strand over to the middle, thread on a hex nut tightly to the top of the thread, and crossover.  Keep the hex nut tight by placing your thumb at the base.  Before crossing over the far right strand, thread on a hex nut, push it to the base of the braid, and crossover.  Thread another hex nut onto the far left strand and crossover.  Repeat these steps by threading a hex nut onto each outer strand before crossing it to the middle (thread, cross, thread, cross).  This definitely takes some patience and all your fingers working together, believe me it will look normal as you thread additional hex nuts!  Finish off the bracelet with another inch of braid, tie into a knot, trim to your liking, and layer it with all your bracelets and watches to create a fun eye-catching wrist party!


Chalk It Up

Chalkboards aren’t just for teachers educating little ones anymore but instead are being utilized for all aspects of life.  As seen below, people are using chalkboard paint for entire walls of rooms, for displaying recipes, inspiring words, calendars, and signs, for hosting purposes including seating arrangements, weddings, or writing names on glasses, for labeling plants or spices in gardens, for organization, and for kids to show off their artistic talents.   Chalkboard paint has become easily accessible whether you purchase it from Home Depot or whip up a batch of your own in your favorite color (recipe found here).  Have you ever used chalkboard paint to make your life a little more exciting or more manageable?  If so, how and where?  I’m looking for a new, easy DIY project that incorporates chalkboard paint since I’m incredibly jealous of Cece’s new chalkboard kitchen (see below) and would love suggestions!

Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Seeing multiple images of chalkboards and chalkboard walls displayed in kitchens, my friend Cece was inspired to give it a try in her new Chicago apartment and graciously asked me to tag along.  After taping off all the doorways, lights, and outlets, we applied the first coat of Rust-oleum Specialty Chalkboard Latex Black Paint to her clean kitchen walls, allowed it to dry four hours, and repeated with a second coat.  My favorite part is that the doorways along the wall basically create two separate chalkboards: one large one for anything at all (notes, inspiring words, etc) and a smaller one perfect for grocery lists, recipes, or weekly menus.  Seriously, how cute?  Jealous? I know I am!

The Before:

The During:

The After: