Tag Archives: tutorials

Valentine’s Day Door Decoration Tutorial

Remember this box I used to make  this shelf? Well, there was still a whole panel of it left. So I decided to make a cute DIY Valentine’s Door Decoration. What do you think?


Here’s how to make it.

Valentine’s Day Door Decoration


-Box cutter or Xacto knife
-Paint: Red & White
– Hot Glue

How to:

1. Make a Heart Stencil
You remember this one ladies from Kindergarten. Fold a piece of paper in half. Draw half a heart outline.


Cut it and Voila!


You’ve got a stencil. Cut it to a size you think will fit your door and handwriting.

2. Trace your stencil.

Since I spelled “Welcome,” I needed seven hearts. But you could write other things, if you’d like.

3. Cut your stencil.

Using the box cutter. You also might want to use a cutting mat, unless you want your table to look like mine.


4. Paint your hearts.
I used acrylic paint. It took about three coats. Wait for them to dry between each coat.


5. Paint out your letters.
It occurred to me a stencil would be a good choice here, but I freehanded it. After I painted them, I outlined them with a sharpie to make things look neater.


6. Line up the letters to form your word.
Line them up exactly how you’d like to see them hanging.


7. Hot glue them together.

8. Add string.
Measure out the length you want your decoration to hang.


Turn your sign over and use the hot glue gun to fasten the string to your cardboard.


Really pour the glue on and make sure it’s completely covered.


Cut any extra string that may be visible.


Be sure that the glue is completely dry before hanging. And you’re done!


DIY cardboard shelf tutorial

Happy 100th post to my blog! Thank everyone so much for reading. I can’t believe the amount of views my blog has had this month. It’s more than I could have ever expected. Thank everyone so much for their dedication and enthusiasm for my blog. You guys are great!

In honor of this fun day, I have a DIY post to share.

DIY Cardboard Shelf Tutorial


I made this cardboard shelf this afternoon. It took less than two hours and cost next to nothing. Seriously. It’s  great.

Click on the photos to see a larger image.

Learn how to take a simple cardboard box that was almost trash and turn it into a functional shelf for your trinkets. This cardboard shelf measures 5″ deep and 25″ long.


1. Hot glue gun
2. Tape Measurer
3. Big cardboard box
4. Xacto knife or another cutting tool, box cutter, etc.
5. [Optional] Cutting mat, very helpful, but I used some carpeted cat scratcher thing [I’m cheap, er, resourceful]
6.   Paint, if you’d like to paint your shelf

Step 1: Tracing

1. Begin with a box and cut it and lay it flat.

2. Measure out the desired length you want your shelf to be. This one is 5″ x 25″.
3. Create a rectangular pattern using these measurements. Be sure to keep the pattern lines as straight as possible.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial

2. Cut your pattern

Cut out your first rectangle of cardboard using your box cutter or Xacto knife.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial
Now you’re going to trace out two more cardboard rectangles. You can use the first one as a pattern.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Trace
Cut out all three.

During this time, you can also cut out the base of your shelf, which should measure 3 inches wide by 25 inches long. [not pictured.]

3. Trace & Cut Shelf Braces

You will also need to cut a few more pieces from the cardboard. These will be the braces or stabilizers that connect your shelf top to the base.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Draw Shelf Braces
Measure out a triangle brace that is 3 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Make the width and depth meet at a right angle. Connect them with a straight line across the middle. Cut one out and use it as a stencil for your next ones.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Cut out Brace Pieces
You will need to make 8 total.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Cut out Brace Pieces

4. Glue the Braces Together
Now you’re going to want to glue two of the braces together, giving it a double-thickness. This will result in four reinforced braces. I used hot glue to do this.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Glue Braces Together

5. Glue the Shelf Pieces Together
Next, using the hot glue gun, glue the three cut-out cardboard pieces that are the length of your shelf. The three layers of cardboard will give it some strength.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Glue Braces Together

6. Trim the edges

If you are like me and terrible at cutting, you might need to trim your edges, so that they are smooth. Now is the time to do so. It’s really important to the stability of this structure that every edge be straight and even.  (Tip, if you use a thin blade, the cuts will be smoother).

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Trim Edges

7. Assemble the 3-Layer Shelf to the Back Base

Next, assemble the three layer shelf to the back base.
Have the hot glue gun ready and loaded. Mine sort of dried half-way through applying the glue.
Using the hot glue, connect the shelf to the top of the base at a 90 degree or right angle.
Hold and press down until it’s completely cooled.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Glue

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Glue
Side notes: See that light shining through at the center of the angle? That’s because it wasn’t cut straight. I had to sort of seal it with hot glue. This tells me it probably won’t be as structurally sound as I want it to be.

8. Assemble the Braces to the Back and Top of Shelf

Next, add the braces for reinforced security.

Start on the two edges. Glue the corner of the braces into the corner of the shelf. Press them in deep to add security.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Add BracesD.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Glue Braces
Once you secure the outside two, then add the inside two, placing them in equal distance apart in the middle.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf TutorialD.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial

9. Smooth Edges and Paint

Smooth out the edges with a pair of scissors or your knife.

Paint your shelf if desired.

D.I.Y. Cardboard Shelf Tutorial - Paint

10. Mount & Decorate

Finally, mount your shelf on a wall and display your hard work! I mounted with nails, but half way through I thought double sided tape would work.



I would have preferred to put another coat of paint on this, but I ran out. I wouldn’t put a book on this, but it’s perfect for display of tiny things or candles.



There you have it! I hope you enjoy this tutorial.

Here’s a link to a downloadable/printable .pdf file of this tutorial via my instructables account.

Stay tuned tomorrow to see what I do with the leftover cardboard. Yes, there’s leftovers.

the weekender 1/14/2011

via apartment therapy

I love the idea of color coordinating books in a bookshelf – a more modern approach to the dewy decimal system, perhaps.

Small talk: Is anyone else excited for this three day weekend? It’s the talk of the coffee pot at work. Due to some spare time, I promise you two, maybe three handmades for next week. Until then, here are some link:

I can’t wait to try this ruffled tank tutorial. It give a nice, elegant look to the sometimes too casual tank top. Too bad it’s too cold to be wearing them. via Adventures in Dressmaking

Another sewing project: turn an over-sized knit sweater into a lovely knit skirt. I’ve never sewn on yarn-knit before, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. I just have a fear of the yarn being devoured by my machine. Has this happened to you? Thoughts?  via Blooming Leopold Vintage.

Oh, this bed is beautiful and handmade. What’s that you say? Less than $200? Yes please. This is something I’d love to put in my future farmhouse.
via The Feminist Housewife

Make your own butter. I hope you have strong arms and tons of stamina [personal ad?]. via Maize Hutton

I’ve had my eye on cupcake stands for at least two years now, but have never been able to justify the purchase. Here’s a tutorial to Make Your Own Cupcake Stand. The best part about this is you can make unique and individual ones for different occasions. via Skip to my Lou

Chances are, you’ve seen this picture floating around the blogosphere and had a similar envy-filled reaction that I did.

Lovely, double knotted hair. Here’s a how-to over at This is Glamorous.

Have a happy three-day weekend and a happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

how to make a long scarf [tutorial]

I made this scarf the other day. It’s really long, a little less than 80 inches, and can be wrapped all sorts of ways.

Make A Long Scarf Tutorial

I fell in love with the fabric. I picked it up when fleece was on sale.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial

How to make the scarf:

1. Cut out four even pieces. Since I wanted a long scarf, I  folded the fabric in half lengthwise. My pieces were 8 inches wide, but you can make your scarf thinner or wider.  Mark the width with chalk and cut. Make sure you use a cutting board or another device to make sure your fabric slices are even.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial - Cut Fabric

The dimensions of each piece is 44″ x 8″. I will be combining two pieces in the middle, which makes the total length around 80 inches (with cutting and trimming, etc.).

How to Make a Long Scarf Tutorial

Four identical pieces.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial

2. Create a middle seam. Since I have a colored fabric pattern with lines, I had to take extra care to make sure the fabric pieces lined up to create a symmetrical scarf. If you’re a beginner, it might just be easier to not deal with lining up the pattern. Go for a solid color fabric.

Take the time now to decide what will be the inside of your scarf and which side will be the outside of your scarf. Here are my four pieces lined up.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial

Using two pieces of scarf, match the middle colors together. In this case,  my middle was going to be navy.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial

With right sides together, sew the middle seam of each side of the scarf – two pieces for each side. Then trim the excess. Now you should have two long pieces.

3. Sew the scarf.

From here it gets pretty simple. Line up the two sides of the scarf so that the fabric matches – right sides together. Again, if your fabric doesn’t have a pattern, then put your two sides together and don’t worry about having to line anything up.

Pin your scarf with right sides together. Starting at the top of the scarf, stitch down (at 5/8ths an inch) until you reach about 5/8ths an inch from the end, then turn the scarf, and stitch across. Once you reach about 5/8ths from the other side, turn the scarf again, and start stitching back toward the top.

This is a picture of the left side already stitched. Now I’m stitching back up the right side.

4. Stop once you get to the top, do not stitch across. You want to leave an open mouth on the scarf. Once you reach the top, do a few back stitches to reinforce your seam. Trim off the excess string.

5. Trim the seams, cutting off the excess fabric.

6.  Using the open edge of your scarf, reach your arm in there and turn the scarf inside out.

7. Creating the top of the scarf: With the scarf now turned right side out, you’re going to want to finish the top. Turn some of the top fabric inward and press the seam. Pin it closed.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial

Now sew it closed, starting with a few back stitches to reinforce the close. Here I stitch very close to the top of the scarf. I place my presser foot at the top of the scarf. This ensures that you’ll sew through the folded top of the scarf.

How to Sew a Long Scarf Tutorial

8. Press the entire scarf flat.

There you have it.

Make A Long Scarf Tutorial

A super cozy fleece scarf.

Side note: Tutorials are tough. I’m still getting the hang of them. I welcome constructive criticism and questions about this tutorial. Thanks!

fleece beanie tutorial

Happy Holidays everyone! I’m ready to get into the Christmas spirit. Did I mention I’m ditching the consumer frenzy this year and opting for more simple, eco-friendly, and personal gifts? Yes, you heard right, I’m making or thrifting all of my gifts this year. And I’m happy to let you, dear readers, participate in

Craft 1: Fleece Beanie Hat Tutorial

I got an email from Joann Fabrics mentioning fleece was 50% off. So I spent an ungodly amount of money and have yards and yards of the stuff.

Today’s craft is a fleece beanie hat (with tutorial!).

You will need:
-measuring tape, scissors, pins
-fleece about 1/2 a yard
-sewing machine and thread
-marking pen or chalk

First: Take a measuring tape and measure your head around the ears. If you are making a gift, Martha Stewart has average head sizes listed on one of her hat crafts. You’ll also want to measure from the base of where you plan to wear your hat to the back of the head, where you think the hat should end. This is the crown distance.

Next: Cut out a piece of fleece measuring the length of the circumference of your head, and the height of the crown measurement. Add a quarter of an inch to all sides to allow for seams. This is the size my fleece cutout was.

Fleece Beanie TutorialNext: Fold the fleece piece in half lengthwise. Using chalk, place a line on the halfway point of the length of your hat, so probably around 12 or so inches. Then draw a curve from the point down to the end of the fleece. Here’s what I did:

Fold the fleece in half again at the halfway mark (so it’s in quarters), flatten it, and cut around the white arc.

Fleece Beanie TutorialSew along the white line, or at 5/8ths an inch.

Fleece Beanie TutorialTrim the seams. Here you can use pinking shears. Or you can serge them or zigzag, whatever you want to finish the seams. I left them raw.

Fleece Beanie Tutorial- Trim the Extra Fabric

The next part is making the seam around the forehead and ears. I turned my seam in and left it at a quarter an inch. Then I sewed along the edge.

Fleece Beanie Tutorial -  Sew the edges

Turn the hat inside out, and you’re done!

Fleece Beanie Tutorial

Super sexy, about to go to bed, webcam photo.

Snug and warm!

the weekender 11/13/2010

hello dear readers,

You really want to be in my house right now. I have a simmer pot going and my house smells wonderful. Also, there’s peach cobbler bubbling in the oven waiting for my boyfriend.

Here are some fun d.i.y. crafts to get you through the weekend.

Downloadable Christmas Tree Ornaments

via Posie Gets Cozy

How to Embellish a T-Shirt with Flowers

via Make It and Love It

Did you enjoy that loop scarf I made? Want to make one yourself? The best part is no sewing involved!

Knit Circle Scarf Tutorial

via P.S. I made this

Remember how I said lace was going to be in this year?

Lace Embellish Tee Tutorial

via Adventures in Dressmaking

I hope everyone has a fun weekend.

cute ideas: no carve pumpkins

I went to a pumpkin patch yesterday, which means it’s officially fall. Perhaps a little too ecstatically, I dragged my boyfriend through rows of pumpkins until I found the right one. I’ve debated on whether or not I should carve it, since carving is messy and it might rot soon. While I decide, here are some lovely ideas for pumpkins if you don’t want to deal with the carving mess. Now that I’m a grown up, it’s time to have grown up seasonal decorations.

1. This one is covered in fashionable tissue paper. Tutorial via The Haute Mama Fashionista
2.  Batty Painted Pumpkins via Parents.com

3. Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven Pumpkin via Mrs. B

3. Martha makes magic again with her Toadstool Gourd and Pumpkin display. There’s also a tutorial.
4. These plaid pumpkins are adorable over at Better Homes and Gardens.

Also, here are some carved ones that look like they require a lot of work. But I couldn’t leave without showing you these cuties

Porcupines! Aren’t they perfect? There’s even a tutorial, but this one seems like you have to be a pumpkin carving pro to create these.

DIY Infinity/Loop scarf

Let me just say I’m already in love with this project, and plan to make many more in the future. I used a tutorial that Amy did over at H is for Handmade. It was fast and easy and turned out great.


I used a sheer polyester fabric. This is Florida, I’m not desperate for warmth. I’ve been eying a similar scarf (floral and lightweight) over at Urban Outfitters. Hello, $28 (plus shipping.)


Here’s the breakdown:

Price (material and notions): $9, but since I was unclear about the pattern, I bought double the fabric. It turns out, there’s a trick to doubling the length without cutting it. Just fold it and measure out half the length (see tutorial). Long story short, I can make a second scarf and gift it. Who wants one?

Time: It took about an hour, that’s with both the serger and sewing machine messing up.

Likelihood of use: Moderate. I like that it can go into the fall or spring seasons.

tutorials I’ve been dying to try

The past few weeks the blogosphere has been swimming with the d.i.y. spirt. Here are some tutorials I’ve been dying to try, but haven’t had the time.

Fold Away Shopping Bag Tutorial

via Crafty Ady

Double DIY: Invisible Shelf Meets Abstract Modern Sculpture

via dornob

Light Bulb Terrariums

via The City Cradle

Messenger Bag Tutorial

via Thrift Stitch

The Beehive

via A Cup of Jo & the NY Times

DIY Waves of Ruffles Shower Curtain Tutorial

via Adventures in Dressmaking

These are all going on my “winter break time-off to-do list.” What about you? Have you seen any genius tutorials lately?