Tag Archives: DIY


Halloween Costumes: 15 Ideas You can DIY This Year

Fall is here, which means that it’s time to start thinking about Halloween! One of the best parts about Halloween is coming up with the perfect costume, but sometimes actually shopping for costumes can be exhausting and frustrating.

To make your costume hunting easier, we’ve rounded up an awesome selection of easy Halloween costumes that you can DIY (some in minutes!).  Whether you’re going as an individual, one half of a couples’ costume, or as the member of a group, you can find the perfect costume for your Halloween celebrations! Continue reading

Family 4th of July

Let Freedom Ring With These 4th Of July Favorites

[two_fifth]cherry blueberry pie recipe[/two_fifth]

Are you ready for the most patriotic day of the year? Whether you have a fully planned 4th of July event or still have more on your holiday to-do list than you would like to admit, add a little more red, white, and blue to your weekend with these American themed cooking and decorating ideas!

What is more American than apple pie? Red, white, and blue-themed cherry and blueberry pie! Try a twist on an American classic for an easy, delicious Independence Day dessert. Whether you are cooking for a potluck or a small event with family and friends, this mouth-watering recipe from Food Network Magazine is sure to please everyone. Preparation time is only 20 minutes, and Food Network Magazine gives this treat an “easy” level rating.


What You Need:


  • 1 package double pie crust mix
  • 1 (20-ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Blueberry Sauce:

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, reserve 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare pie crust according to package directions. Divide into 6 equal portions, roll into balls and refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll each into a circle about 1/4-inch thick.

For Pies:

  1. Place each of the rolled out circles onto the baking sheet. Divide cherry pie filling into the center of each of the 6 pie crusts and sprinkle each with the pumpkin pie spice. Fold the edges of the pie dough over the cherry pie filling, making sure to leave the center of the pie exposed. Place a few of the reserved blueberries on top of each pie. Brush the sides of the pies with milk and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Place pies in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

For Blueberry Topping:

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, sugar, and two tablespoons water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. To serve, place 1 warm pie on 6 plates, top each pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of the blueberry sauce.


[one_third]Fireworks Display[/one_third]


Sometimes a delicious dessert alone is not enough. Go the extra mile with tasteful red, white, and blue DIY decorations! BrightNest’s DIY patriotic firework placemats are a simple, quick way to add a nice touch to your 4th of July event.



What You Need:

  • White, beige, or light-colored fabric placemats
  • Red and blue fabric paints
  • A kitchen scrub brush
  • A paper plate
  • Water for rinsing the kitchen scrub.

What You Do:

  1. Pour a quarter-sized amount of red fabric paint onto a paper plate; repeat for blue paint.
  2. Dip the scrub brush bristles one of the colors of paint and firmly press the bristles into the fabric to start making your design.
  3. To create the appearance of fireworks, alternate and overlap paint colors. Make sure to rinse the kitchen scrub in water between alternations to avoid overly blending your colors.
  4. Let the placemats dry in a safe place and – voila! You have your own patriotic placemats.

Tip: Want to add a little more flair to your fireworks? Use a second, smaller kitchen scrub to create smaller fireworks!

As you prepare for an all-American celebration full of potlucks, get-togethers, fireworks shows, and more, these quick Independence Day extras will add a little more bang to your weekend. Have a fun and safe 4th of July, and remember those who sacrificed for our freedom.

If you want more easy DIY decoration ideas, check out http://bit.ly/1o7EWSd. Have any other 4th of July cooking or decorating ideas? Feel free to share them below in the comments section.


“Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.”

– George Washington in his Farewell Address

DIY for the Average Jane: The Pumpkin Spice Latte

DIY For the Average Jane: The Pumpkin Spice Latte

In this new series, blogger Brittany Cooper (an average Jane) tackles weekly DIY projects, giving you tips from her successes–and mistakes!

Finished Pumpkin Spice LatteWelcome to the new series, “DIY For the Average Jane.” True, my name isn’t Jane, but it’s the best way to describe myself when it comes to the DIY realm. I do a little of this and a little of that, and I love DIY blogs, but you won’t find me sewing outfits for my entire family or hand-painting designs on my walls to give them the appearance of vintage wallpaper.

This series is dedicated to simple, quick and doable DIY projects that you can actually do yourself. So, if you love the touch of handmade but don’t have hours and hours to spend, I invite you to join me each week as I tackle these fun, bite-sized projects.

This week’s challenge: Crafting a deliciously homemade pumpkin spice latte (à la latte to the upper right). I love this seasonal drink with just the right amount of sweet pumpkin, milk, espresso and spice. To me, it signifies that fall has arrived. And while I celebrate the drink, I don’t get so skippingly happy about the price tag that accompanies it at certain mega-chain coffee shops. Solution? Learn how to make the lovely little latte myself.* Here’s how you can do the same:

Ingredients: (Makes enough for at least 2 lattes)

-2 cups of milk (skim is healthier; whole is more delicious)

-1 to 2 shots of espresso (or 1 cup of strong coffee)

-2 tbsp canned pumpkin

-2 tbsp vanilla extract

-2 tbsp sugar (I used turbinado sugar)

-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling

-Whipped cream

Step 1: Boil the milk and pumpkin pie filling over medium heat until it starts to steam. You can also do this in the microwave, but I thought the stove was simpler.

Making a Pumpkin Spice Latte Step 1-2

Step 2: Once the milk starts steaming, remove from heat, add the pumpkin spice and whisk it, whisk it good …

Making a Pumpkin Spice Latte Step 2

Step 3: Pour about a cup of the milk into a mug, and then pour 1/2 cup of coffee or 1 shot of espresso over the top.

Step 4: Top with whipped cream and pumpkin spice and enjoy!

*I originally found a recipe for a pumpkin spice latte here.

Pumpkin Spice Tutorial

Fabric Rosette

How to Make a DIY Fabric Rosette

Fabric RosetteThese little fabric flowers have been popping up all over Pinterest and DIY blogs of late, no doubt for their simplicity and versatility.

As I’ve become a more frequent Pinterest browser, these sweet little fabric rosettes have caught my attention. I’ve seen them used to accent T-shirts, headbands, picture frames, jewelry and a myriad of other things where they add just the right touch of whimsy.

After I had a new baby girl a couple months ago, I resolved to learn how to make these fabulous florals so I can make her adorable little headbands like I’ve seen on Pinterest. To my surprise, they were super simple, and it didn’t take long to get the hang of them. If you’ve never tried your hand at this rosy DIY, here’s how you can get started.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

What You'll Need to Make a Fabric Rosette

The fabric rosette requires very few supplies.

A strip of fabric 25″ by 3″ for each rose

A circle of fabric about 2″ in diameter for the backing

A glue gun

Glue sticks

Step 1: Fold your strip of fabric in half so that it measures 25″ by 1.5″ and tie a knot near the end of the strip.

Step Two of Making a Fabric Rosette

The knot can be loose, as it forms the center of your rosette.

Step 2: Put a dab of hot glue under your knot and tuck the end of the fabric under your knot. Secure it with the hot glue.

Step two of making a fabric rosette

Just a small dab of hot glue will hold your end securely under the knot.

Step 3: Twist the rest of the strip so that it’s fully twisted but not super tight. This is what you will wrap around to create the petals.

Step two of making a fabric rosette

Twist the fabric into one long strand.

Step 4: Begin to wrap your fabric around the center knot, gluing as you go.

Step four of making a fabric rosette

It's OK if your fabric comes unwound, as seen above. Just twist it as you wrap, gluing as you go.

Step 5: Once you’ve wrapped and glued almost your entire strip, tuck the very end beneath the rosette and glue it in place.

Step 5 of making a fabric rosette

Tuck the end of the fabric under the rosette and glue in place.

Step 6: Glue your 2″ circle to the bottom of the rosette, finishing it off.

step six of making a fabric rosette

The fabric circle finishes off the underside of your rosette.

Finished Product: Now you have a lovely little rosette that you can use to embellish any number of things. Check out our Pinterest board for creative ways to use these flowers.

Finished rosette

Voila - the simple finished product is an adorable rosette you can use in a number of creative ways.

Group rosettes together for a fun look, and then experiment with colors and types of fabrics to get exactly the embellishment you need for your next project.

Three fabric rosettes

How to Make Your Own Brown Sugar Scrub

How to Make Your Own Brown Sugar Scrub

How to Make Your Own Brown Sugar ScrubBlogger Summer Huggins spends some time in the kitchen–not baking cookies, but whipping up a homemade brown sugar body scrub.

DIY–do it yourself–is hot right now. As a society, we’re quilting (again) more than ever and making our own baby food. I even make some of our dog toys at our house. So when I decided I wanted to make my own brown sugar body scrub, I was sure I would find a great, simple recipe in the mail any minute. Surely one of my magazine subscriptions focusing on health and natural living–like Health or Natural Health–would have one for me. Nope. I kept my eyes open for what seemed like months and still didn’t find a thing.

So I did what any modern, crafty girl would do: I took to Pinterest!

And there I found what seemed like dozens of recipes. I scanned many and found that most of them were basically the same, with four common ingredients:

  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of olive, sunflower or coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract

Making brown sugar body scrub in your own kitchen is simple: Mix the sugars together to integrate them and get rid of lumps. Pour into a lidded glass container, add the oil and vanilla and scrub! Mine will find a nice home on the edge of the tub.

It smells so good coming together, and so will your skin after you use  it–so much so that now I want to get back into the kitchen and bake those cookies …

10 Uses for the Rubber Bands in Your Junk Drawer

10 Uses for the Rubber Bands in Your Junk Drawer

This Old House magazine November/December 2011

This Old House Nov/Dec 2011

Blogger Summer Huggins reads her first issue of This Old House magazine and feels inspired to start tackling projects around the house.

When my husband and I bought our house almost eight years ago, we knew we wanted something fairly new. We didn’t want to spend every single weekend and spare dollar making repairs or upgrades to an older home. We were lucky and went almost five years before having a big expense: The air conditioner had to be replaced. In August. In Texas. That was a must!

After picking up my first-ever copy of This Old House magazine a couple months ago, though, I started to feel like we may have missed out on the fun and pride that comes from spending weekends replacing wall paneling, retiling bathrooms or building an island in the kitchen. This magazine makes it seem possible for the layman to do some of these things without having to hire a professional.

In addition to big projects in that Nov./Dec. issue–like installing wainscoting and building said island in the kitchen–there were also smaller projects that even my husband and I could tackle. The magazine gave instructions for making a wine rack from a simple wooden planter, for example, and it included step-by-step photos and instructions for replacing balusters on the staircase as well. Remember to measure twice and cut once!

My favorite department in the magazine has to be Home Solutions. In this department, this issue gave 10 ideas for using the rubber bands you’ve been saving in your junk drawer. (And this list doesn’t include popping your little brother on the arm with them.) What does it include? Well, let me tell you: opening jars, reshaping broom bristles and, my favorite: keeping your paint cans neater. If you’re going to tackle weekend projects like painting the dining room, you want to keep things neat. Stretching a large rubber band over a paint can gives you a place to wipe excess paint from the brush without using the side of the can. So smart!

And the list doesn’t stop there. You can use rubber bands to clamp items together–especially when they have fresh glue on them–get a better grip on handles, label storage tubs, keep cabinet doors closed, wrap needle-nose pliers to protect your fingers, shorten cords and label the volume on containers of liquids.

All these ideas are listed on a single page of This Old House. I think I may tear it out and hang it in the garage.