Monday, June 29, 2015

Good Day Austin: 4th of July Entertaining Ideas

Even though is feels like we just started the summer, the Fourth of July is already upon us!  As I [bluntly] mention in this morning's Good Day Austin segment, sometimes Fourth of July decor ideas aren't always the cutest or most original (Thanks, Pinterest!), so I tried to put together a few quick, easy, and eye-pleasing entertaining ideas to try this weekend.  Read below for more information on each idea featured!

Bud Vases  //  Using bud vases for floral arrangements is one of my favorite budget-friendly entertaining tips!  You can line them down the table, cluster them together, or spread them around the house for a colorful touch.  I find that breaking the flowers up into smaller vases allows for you to get more 'bang for your buck.'

Wrapping Paper Table Runner  //  I didn't even mention this money-saving tip in the segment!  Using inexpensive wrapping paper is a quick & easy way to add a little something extra to your table scape, and you can throw it away once the party is over.  I purchased this red and white striped paper for $3.99 and was able to get four 6-foot table runners out of it.  This is also a great tip for kids' tables too!

Pom-Pom Napkin  //  Another favorite DIY, pom-poms make everything more fun.  For a full tutorial, be sure to check out my post here from last summer.

Patriotic Plastic Ware  //  As I mentioned in the segment, you're going to have plastic ware, might as well make it cute!  Craft stores like Michaels, have made it all too easy to entertain colorfully these days.  With their 'Celebrate It' line, there are literally rows and rows of color-coded party supplies, making entertaining these days all too effortless.  There's no excuse!

Wood-burned Grill Tools  //  I've never met a wood burner I didn't like.  The opportunities to wood burn are endless, it's not just for cutting boards!  This personalized grill utensil is great for the Fourth, but also a great gift for any grill-master in your life!

'Star Spangled Spritzer' + Firework Drink Stirrer  //  Ahhh....the perfect summer-time sipper!  Read my full post from earlier to get the recipe and DIY instructions!

And while this wasn't featured on this morning's segment, I can't let you go without paying tribute to my all-time favorite summer-time DIY, the Watermelon Drink Dispenser I shared last year.  It's too good not to make again this summer!

And if you're not one to DIY, simply click the items below for some great Fourth of July entertaining items -- plus, most of them are on sale! I hope everyone has a SAFE and HAPPY 4th of July! 

Star Spangled Spritzer + Drink Stirrer

I've said it many times before, I love me a good white wine spritzer --and fewer things are more refreshing during these hot summer months.  With only a few ingredients, this quick and easy 'Star Spangled Spritzer' pairs perfectly with fireworks and a backyard BBQ.

- 1 bottle of dry white wine (like Austin Winery's Pinot Gris)
- 3/4 bottle (24 oz.) Flavored Italian Soda (I used Central Market's Prickly Pear -- delish!)
- Fresh blueberries
- Fresh strawberries
- Sprinkles to garnish

The night before your soiree, cut up some fresh strawberries and put them in your King Cube Ice Tray (or a regular ice tray!), along with some fresh blueberries, fill the tray with water and freeze overnight. 

Just before your party, place a few of your berry ice cubes in a pitcher.  Pour in a full bottle of your favorite dry white wine, and then top off with flavored Italian soda.  Add in more cut strawberries and blueberries to taste and stir.

To serve, I rimmed my glass with some red and white sprinkles [admittedly, I had these leftover from Christmas, but they were the perfect touch for this patriotic drink!] Drop in either one king cube of ice or a few regular cubes and then pour in your spritzer. Keep reading to find out how to make this dazzling little firework drink stirrer!

- Patriotic paper straws (I found the cutest ones in the check-out line at HomeGoods!)
- Sparkly pipe cleaners

Take two different colored pipe cleaners and cut each in half so that you have four pieces.  Bend each piece in half and then twist together at the base.  Insert the base into the top of the paper straw and then bend the pieces out to resemble a firework, and ta-da! 

For more 4th of July DIYs and easy (+ budget-friendly!) entertaining ideas, stay tuned for my Good Day Austin segment!  Austinites, I'll be live this morning at 9:50am.  Non-Austinites, I'll post the segment as soon as it's online! In the meantime, you can also check out my 'Star Spangled Summer' Pinterest Board for some red, white, and blue inspiration!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Quick & Easy DIYs to Try!

Earlier this week, I shared some insanely easy, quick, and thrifty home decor and gift DIYs on Austin's Studio512.  All of the projects featured require very few materials, time, or money! As mentioned in the segment, I made one of these while waiting in the wings on set! Click below to watch and after the jump, find out how you can recreate these on your own!

Acrylic Tray  //  This tried and true DIY couldn't be easier.  I used an acrylic tray from the Container Store, but you could also use a shadow box frame.  Cut some of your favorite wrapping paper down to size -- I used this leopard print paper -- then lightly coat the back of the paper with some Modge Podge and set it down in the tray.  I put some heavy books on top of the paper, so that the edges wouldn't curl and it the paper would dry flat.  Once it has completely dried, your tray is ready for use!

Studded Vase  //  One of my favorite DIY bloggers, Caitlin of Desert Domicile, shared this darling DIY a couple of years ago, so I can't take credit for it!  Check out her full tutorial here [and be sure to check out some of her other awesome projects while you're there!]

Personalized Ring Dishes  //  Check out my full post and tutorial here for this great little gift idea!  You can also get all of the supplies you need with some one-stop shopping at Darby Smart! [excuse the shameless promotional plug.]

Coffee Mugs  //  Who doesn't love a personalized coffee mug?  Check out my 'Shhhh! There's Wine in Here' Sharpie mug tutorial I posted a couple of years ago, or for a little more glam, use a gold leaf pen.  If you're using a Sharpie, bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes to 'set' your design.  I might recommend hand-washing these for the first 30 days, just to ensure  your creation won't wash away. After that, these should be good to go in the dishwasher.

Glasses & Champagne Flutes  //  I was just smitten with these gold foiled cocktail glasses, but quickly realized I could easily recreate the look for a fraction of the price.  Using plain glassware I found for $2 at a local home store, I made sure they were thoroughly washed and dried and then used a gold leaf pen to write my saying of choice.  Be sure to hand-wash these beauties!

Wooden Coasters  //  I found these wooden coasters at HomeGoods for about $5, and with my trusty gold leaf pen I simply drew on various designs, and voila!  Their chic value just went up.  Tie them together with some bakers string or twine, and they make the perfect little gift for any occasion.

What are your favorite DIYs to make on the fly?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

DIY: Personalized Catchall

Breaking News: I'm alive!  Despite my extreme lack of blogging over the past couple of months, I'm still here--and I'm still crafting!  Today, I'm excited to share that I have TWO new DIY kits now available at Darby Smart! The first of which is one of my personal favorites--and the perfect gift--the Monogrammed Clay Dish (you can see my original post and tutorial here.)  The second, which might just be my new favorite, is this personalized catchall.  Inspired by this Kate Spade tray, this little dish couldn't be easier to make and requires only THREE supplies. 
  • Ceramic dish [4" - 6" square]
  • Sharpie
  • Gold leaf pen
To ensure a clean surface, I quickly wiped down my dish with some rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball. Otherwise you can give it a quick rinse with warm water and a paper towel.  With your Sharpie, write the phrase of your choice [the options are literally endless.]  To seal the Sharpie, bake your dish in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Once the dish has cooled, simply trace the edge of the dish with your gold leaf pen. Let the paint dry completely before placing your treasures! 

Much like the monogrammed clay dish, this darling little catchall makes the perfect gift for bridesmaids, birthdays, Mother's Day, or whatever the occasion!

Since I've been a little M.I.A. lately--catch me up on what YOU have been crafting!  I'd love to hear your creative ideas!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Minted's Art Marketplace

First, I'd like to preface this post with my sincerest apology that I haven't posted in well over a month. [gasp!]  Y'all deserve better than that, for me to just leave y'all all high and dry. I started a new job at the first of the year and life has been a bit busy and crazy--as it tends to be--therefore SP&C was put on the back burner for a hot minute...but I'm back!

Today's post focuses on a personally sensitive subject: the bookshelf + TV area in my living room.  While I still love my good ol' IKEA shelving unit, styling it and area above it has been a bit of a struggle over the years.  It's gone from bare to cluttered to awful DIY art and then back to bare again.  As I was taking down my Christmas decorations this year, I decided that I was finally going to do something with this space once and for all.  I knew I wanted to do some leaning art prints, but I just didn't know what exactly I wanted or where to find it.  Enter

Known mainly for their extensive collection of cards, invitations and stationery, minted also offers quite the array of art prints from some of the most talented artists, graphic artists and photographers around--at wallet-friendly prices, I might add.  As I was scrolling through minted's gallery, it was almost impossible to choose.  Something kept bringing me back to this gorgeous gazelle print by Natalie Groves, so into my 'cart' it went!
I already had a 16" x 20" frame in my "inventory," but for those of you that aren't certified hoarders like myself, minted offers fabulous framing options as well as styling ideas for each print--genius! Paired with my favored 'For Like Ever' print and some vintage flash cards, my little gazelle is right at home watching over the living room in all of his regality.  Have any of you purchased art from minted? I'd love to see how you styled them!

Gazelle print c/o

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY: Winter Wonderland Terrarium

I purchased this terrarium months ago with the intention of creating a succulent arrangement for my coffee table, however that never really happened and I realized its purpose was better served this holiday season as a winter wonderland terrarium--perfect for my holiday tablescape!  To recreate this look is incredibly easy and takes less than a few minutes!
- Terrarium [apothecary jar, mason jar, etc...whatever you have!]
***Note: I purchased my terrarium at Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale, however you can also find similar terrariums at West Elm, Urban Outfitters, etc.[see options at the end of the post!]
- Fake snow
- Tiny deer
- Bottle brush trees
- Cardboard
- Hot glue + glue gun

I cut some cardboard the size of the opening of the terrarium and then hot glued my deer and trees into place.  This gives them a bit of height and ensures that they won't get knocked over!  Place your cardboard + figurines into the terrarium and then fill with fake snow!  Simple as that! 

I've found some great terrarium options and posted them below, so that you can 'shop the look!'  How are you decorating your table for the holidays? I'd love to see what you're creating!


Friday, December 12, 2014

DIY: Polymer Clay Ornament

Polymer clay is one of my favorite mediums to craft with, so using it to make ornaments this year was a holiday no-brainer!  These simple ornaments are extremely easy and make a thoughtful little gift or the perfect addition to your own tree!

- Polymer clay [it comes in a ton of colors!]
- Cookie cutter
- Drink straw
- Ribbon or string
[Everything you need to make these can be found at your local Michaels store!]

Roll out your clay using a clay roller [available here] to about 1/8" thickness.  I like to roll this out on a baking mat, because then you can throw it right onto a baking sheet, when you're ready to bake!  Using the cookie cutter of your choice, cut out your shape.  Stamp in the word, phrase, or name of your choice and then, using a drink straw, make a hole for your ribbon.  Bake in the oven at 230 degrees for 30 minutes.  Make sure to let your ornament cool for a few minutes after you pull it out of the oven, as it will be extremely hot to the touch!  Once your ornament has cooled, string your ribbon through and it's ready for the tree!  As I mentioned, these make a wonderful gift and can even be used as gift tags when tied to a package.  Have you made any ornaments this year? I'd love to see what you've been crafting! Be sure to tag your holiday DIYs with #MadeWithMichaels!