Category Archives: Gift

DIY Hanging Bud Vase

Oh hi, blog land! It’s been, uhhh, six-ish months since I’ve posted anything here… Which, well, sucks. I’m still here, you guys, and I still want to do this diy blog life thing. It’s hard lately. By way of explanation, a second job kind of fell into my lap last December, and I jumped at the chance to take it. It’s a lot of work, dudes. Like, a LOT. I’m not complaining, though, because it’s fun work. And, well, I like money. I’ve got lotsa diy dreams, and money will certainly help me accomplish them. It’s just been a busy whirlwind that hasn’t left me a cache of energy to work on projects (or finish the five or so that I’ve got in progress/half done). In any case, I want to pledge to balance business and pleasure better, so hopefully I’ll be around on here more often. I’ve got something to share today, though, so let’s get started!

I’ve got a history of making garden related things for my flower child mom and posting them here (painted flower potsplant markers). This post continues that tradition.

My mom has these rose bushes… She loves them dearly. She planted them at the house where we lived while I was in junior high and high school. When she and my father downsized after my sister and I moved out, my dad carefully dug them up so she could transplant them to their new yard. Five or so years later, they’re still doing pretty well, despite one getting a rose disease. Yes, rose diseases are a real thing.

She’s always snipping off a rose or two and giving them to me and my sister, or displaying them in jars around the house. So for Mother’s Day, I made my Mom a wall mounted bud vase!

I can’t take full cred for the idea. Buzzfeed’s Nifty Facebook page posted a video of three mason jars being mounted to a board to display succulents, organize your bathroom, etc. I just took the idea and modified it. It was easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Supplies

  • Block of wood (mine was a scrap)
  • Jar
  • Twine
  • Acrylic paint
  • Hose clamp
  • Screw
  • Sawtooth hanger

Tools

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun + 1 hot glue stick
  • Hammer

Steps:

1. Paint your wood block. The first coat is pictured here, but I ended up painting three coats on the front and two on the edges.

2. Prep your jar. I used a salsa jar, which still had salsa in it, and since I don’t waste salsa EVER, I poured it into a plastic food saver and proceeded to wash the jar.

Pro tips:

  • Wash the jar thoroughly with hot water and dish soap.
  • Use goo-gone to help you get the label off. The kind in the spray nozzle bottle is amazing.
  • To remove printed-on “best if used by” dates, soak a cotton ball in a little bit of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover and gently wipe off the ink.

3. Add twine or ribbon to the rim. The threading on the top rim of the jar makes it very obvious that it’s a salsa jar. Using hot glue to affix twine around the rim gives it a much more finished look.

I don’t have pics of the below parts of the process, but Buzzfeed’s video is a good resource for visuals for the parts I’m about to explain.

4. Attach your sawtooth hanger to the back of your board. Because I did a vertical bud vase I attached it to the very top in the middle, using the tiny nails that come with the hanger, and a hammer. If you’re making a horizontal hanger, you’ll probably want to use two sawtooth hangers towards each top corner of the board. Because I sometimes get asked what a sawtooth hanger is, look here:

5. Attach the hose clamp to your board. You’ll want to measure to find the middle of your board and then mark where you’re going to screw the hose clamp in. Make a very small pilot hole for your screw. Open the hose clamp and use a Phillips head screw to attach the clamp to the board.

6. Insert the jar in the hose clamp, and use a flathead screwdriver to tighten the hose clamp down taut so that the jar has no wiggle room. Not too tight, though, you don’t want to break your vase!

7. Hang, add water and pretty flowers, enjoy!

And because I love the waterlogue app and how pretty it makes flowers look, here’s a waterlogue pic of the vase:

This was so easy and inexpensive to make! I want to make a ton more so I can display all of the flowers! 🌻💐🌺🌸🌼🌷🌹

Super Easy DIY Bookmark

Know anyone that loves to read?  I do! That’s why I love making homemade bookmarks. They’re easy and fun, and they add such a personal touch to a gift for a friend or family member.

diy gift: personalized bookmark

This would be a great idea for Father’s Day and/or Mother’s Day.  The last one I made was for my Dad; his birthday is at the end of May.

I picked out a few pictures of my sister and me as young kids, scanned them in to the computer and re-sized them.  I’ve also made them before with pictures of flowers, and of pets.  Really you can pick anything that your reader enjoys.  Endless possibilities.

I recommend printing your pictures on card stock for sturdiness, but regular paper should work fine in a pinch.

For the bookmark portion, I used two pieces of card stock because I wanted different patterns for each side, but you could easily get away with one piece if you want the bookmark to be the same on both sides.

diy gift: personalized bookmark

I cut these two pieces to 7″ x 2″ but there isn’t a law about bookmark proportions so I say, if you’re going to make a bookmark, do it however you want to.  Just make sure it’s at least practical.

If you’re using two pieces of card stock like I did, use double-sided tape to stick them together.  I have craft paper swag so I used a round corner paper punch (similar to this) to round the edges of my bookmark.

Use double sided tape again to stick your pictures to the bookmark and then give the whole thing two coats of mod podge.

A quick squeeze of a hole punch and an embroidery thread tassel make this bookmark extra fancy!

diy gift: personalized bookmark

To really up the cute factor, you can buy your gift recipient a book and tuck it in the book.  I did with this one I made for my dad!

He loved it!

Are you DIYing a present for your father this coming Father’s Day?  Link in the comments!

Mother’s Day DIY No. Three

My mom loves a good diy project, so I always try to give her something handmade for Mother’s Day. She also loves to garden, so it’s fun to combine these two things and give her something plant-y!

Painted Terra Cotta Succulent Planters

This year I went with succulents in terra cotta pots that I hand painted. I just used latex paint samples and sponge brushes that I already had on hand.

Painted Terra Cotta Succulent Planters IMG_1413

I didn’t even realize until I gave them to her that the colors I picked match the curtains in her office – I love a happy accident!

Don’t they look so cute on her desk in the window?

Painted Terra Cotta Succulent Planters Painted Terra Cotta Succulent Planters

Did you DIY anything for your Mom this Mother’s Day? Link it in the comments!

PS – here are my Mother’s Day projects from the last couple of years:

DIY Veggie Garden Signs
Mother’s Day Mani Kit

diy Owl Clock

Happy birthday, sweet baby sister!  Bad big sister alert: your birthday was four months ago.  Sorry, baby sister.  Good big sister alert: I gave you almost exactly what you asked for!

Don’t worry, friends, I actually did give my sister a gift on her birthday.  I didn’t have time (there’s a clock joke) to finish this project for her by her birthday, so I got her a shirt that she wanted to tide her over until her real gift was finished.  She’s extremely patient.

One sunny day last August, my sister called me as I was relaxing by the pool.  She says to me “You need to carve an owl clock for me for my birthday!”. “Ha!”, I exclaimed, “I am not a skilled woodcarver, I will do no such thing!”.  But I tucked the idea into my brain, and after some thought, I came up with this little guy.

diy owl clock

You can apply this procedure to any shape, really.  I’ll tell you how I did it.  You can come up with your own clock design, ok?

All the things

  • Basswood sheet (most craft stores sell them)
  • Clock mechanism and face (also at most craft / hobby stores)
  • Template for clock design
  • X-acto knife
  • Cutting board
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes (I used foam)
  • Clear sealer
  • Dremel
  • Dremel saw blade
  • Dremel griding kit
  • Drill

Template:  I picked a cute lil owl via google image search (that didn’t seem too detailed or complicated) and printed it out.  Then I used an x-acto knife to cut the excess paper around the owl.

001 - owl template

I traced him on to a sheet of basswood.  It’s a little bit stronger, sturdier and heavier than balsa but still lightweight.

diy owl clock diy owl clock

Delay:  Then my sister came over and I hid all of the evidence of what I was making for her.  It would stay hidden for the next four months.  Between the super cold weather, and working extra long hours at work, I just never found the time (ha!) to finish it… Until last weekend when the temperature jumped to the high 60’s.  Yay for project weather!

Cut It Out:  I clamped the basswood sheet to this ikea bench my really fancy work bench and fitted my dremel with a saw blade.  There are easier ways and better tools to cut shapes out of basswood – I’m certain of it.  But I don’t have those tools, so I worked with what I had.

diy owl clock diy owl clock

The dremel saw blade is NOT for precision cutting.

diy owl clock

But, I knew this going into it, and was ready with my dremel grinding attachments to smooth the edges.

diy owl clock

Smooth It: Basswood sheets generally come pretty smooth, but I did opt to smooth the piece even further with 150 grit sandpaper and then fine steel wool.  The steel wool removes all sanding dust and any remaining microscopic lumps and bumps.  An unnecessary step, maybe, but I think it makes a huge difference.

Drill it:  I drilled a hole in the middle of the owl’s belly so the clock mechanism could be attached after his paint job.  To find the center of his belly, I folded my template in half length-wise, and then folded only his belly width-wise.

diy owl clock

A little tap of a nail to make a mark where I wanted to drill the hole…

diy owl clock

A zap with my 1/4″ drill bit, and bam.  Owl belly button.  Don’t mind how rough he looks, this is his backside, which will be against the wall.  His front side is much smoother.

diy owl clock

I used a 1/4″ drill bit for the hole because that was the size of the hand shaft on the clock mechanism I bought.  If you’re making your own clock, make sure you match the size of your hole to the shaft on your mechanism.  Guys, that last sentence went south really fast…  Anyway…

Paint It:  A few coats of brown for the “feathers”.

diy owl clock

I do not have a precise painting hand for detail work, so I used my x-acto to cut my template and taped it on like a stencil to paint the eyes and belly of the owl.

diy owl clock diy owl clock

Same concept for the eyes.

diy owl clock diy owl clock diy owl clockdiy owl clock

And then I used a q-tip for the whites of the eyes (also for the beak and talons but I guess I don’t have a pic of that part – #blogphotofail)

diy owl clock

Clock It:  Two coats of clear sealer and a clock mechanism later, and… Owl Clock!

diy owl clock

Happy birfday leetle seester.  I hope your owl clock was worth the wait.

seester

So whooooo are you guys diy-ing birthday gifts for?  Sorry, friends, I tried to make it through this post without an owl joke, but, it just didn’t happen.  #bloggerpunprobs

xo

Mother’s Day DIY Version 2.0

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Super Moms out there!

Last year, I shared the garden markers that I made for my Mom as a Mother’s Day gift, and in keeping that tradition, I’m back to tell you about the gift I made for her this year!

manicure in a jar

This sweet mani-pedi kit is so cute and really easy to personalize.

Supplies

  • Mason jar
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail tools (clippers, orange stick)
  • Nail polish color(s)
  • Small homemade lotion bars (optional)
  • String or ribbon
  • Card or nametag

manicure in a mason jar

Pick a polish color (or even two or three) that you know your mom likes, or even one that she might not normally try that suits her.

Lotion bars, like these I just posted, are a sweet handmade touch that any mom is sure to appreciate.  The size I made is perfect for this set!  I wrapped them in saran and secured the back with washi to package them.

manicure in a mason jar

Just like I did with the sugar scrub that I made as Christmas gifts, I covered the lids of the mason jars with fabric.  This is optional but makes the jar cuter, so why not, right?

manicure in a mason jar

It’s as easy as purchasing the items and putting them in the jar, friends.  Finish the Mani for Mom jar by tying a name tag or card onto it with a cute ribbon or string.  I used decorative baker’s twine and some plain note cards in which I stamped “Happy Mother’s Day” and “Mani for Mom”.

manicure in a mason jar

Your mom (or whomever you choose to give this to) is gonna love it!  I made three, one for my Mama, one for the fella’s Mama and another for his sis-in-law (who is the Super Mom to our adorable niece and nephew).  They turned out so cute!

manicure in a mason jar

Did anyone else make mom a gift for Mother’s Day?  Do tell…