DIY: Watercolor Bookmarks

Since so much of my life has been consumed with books these days–reading, writing, reviewing, Instagramming–it’s only fitting that I become obsessed with bookmarks. When I was younger and had a significantly better memory, I never used bookmarks because I could just remember what chapter or page I left off on (seriously, how was that a thing I could do?). But now I am old. And I have one or two billion other things on my mind. And I refuse to fold down the pages of my books. So bookmarks it is! I’ve started quite a collection, and while some of my favorites are the free ones from bookstores, I have also been buying some cute ones on Etsy. Which of course, led me to the idea to make some for myself. And I found out how easy it is to make some super cute bookmarks with just a few supplies. I love how they turned out and I can’t wait to make more!

First, I printed out some designs on white cardstock. When I do this project again, I will use paper that is thicker than standard cardstock so the bookmarks have a little more weight. These were super easy to design in Word, I just made a text box the size I wanted and then typed in some fun book-themed phrases. I suck at cutting a straight line so I used my paper cutter, but you could just cut out the rectangles with scissors if you are cool like that.

I let the printer ink dry for a little while to make sure it didn’t smear. In the meantime I set up my watercolors. I used a simple Crayola set that had all the colors I wanted. I had some extra brushes ready but I really only used the one that came with the set. I also had some mini cups of water ready and paper towels on hand for clean up and brush wiping.

diy watercolor bookmarks

I waited about an hour after printing the bookmarks from my computer before I started the painting, which was plenty of time. I chose to do a couple of different color combos and kept two of the bookmarks one color. I have to say that the rainbow one is probably my favorite.

diy water color bookmarks

I let the bookmarks dry overnight and then I took a black Sharpie and went over some of the lettering that had faded from the paint. I also put them under some hardback books for a few hours so they flattened out a little since the paint made the edges curl up a bit. This is the final product…

diy watercolor bookmarks

I love how these came out and I will definitely be making some more in the future. What book quotes or phrases do you like? Give me some idea so I have some for my next round! And make sure you follow my bookstagram account, @coffeebookswinerepeat!

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DIY: Shrinky Dink Pins

So I got the idea for this craft because I wanted to figure out how to make a name tag for myself for when I am coordinating weddings. I was looking for different DIY methods and came upon a blast from my past: Shrinky Dinks. I did not know Shrinky Dinks were still a thing, but they are, and they are even more awesome than I remembered! Of course, I have yet to make my name tag for my, you know job, but I did find time to make some fun Disney and Harry Potter pins! These were all super easy to make and they came out so cute!

Here’s what you need to make the pins: Shrinky Dink printable paper, pins and backs, E6000 glue, and nail polish.

First, print off your chosen designs on the Shrinky Dink paper. I did two different versions of pins. Some of the designs are full color, and the Rebel Alliance sign is just the outline. Remember that the designs are going to shrink to about half their size, so you want to print them out to be about twice as big as you want the final product to be.

Cut out the designs as close as possible to the lines. You may need to use an Xacto knife or a small pair of scissors to get in the tight places.

Lay the shapes out on a baking sheet that is covered in wax paper. Cover the shapes with an additional piece of wax paper and then bake in your oven according to the directions on the package.

Once the Shrinky Dinks are done baking and have cooled, use the E6000 glue to attach the pins to the back of the shapes. For the full color pieces, this is the final step.

For the outlined pieces (like the Rebel Alliance symbol), use the nail polish to paint the pieces, Make sure to do thin coats and use a top coat to seal the color when the polish is dry.

There are so many possibilities with these pins! In addition to my adorable Disney food pins, I made some super cute Star Wars themed pins, and made my own Hufflepuff badge.

diy shrinky dink pins

I can’t to wear all of my new pins out and about and I am excited to come up with more ideas for new designs! What other kinds of pins should I make?

Here are some supplies I used to make this project (affiliate links):

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DIY: Flannel Minnie Ears

Well, my ear-making friends, it has been almost one whole year since I made my first fabric covered pair of Minnie ears. Despite the fact that fabric ears are a complete pain in the ass to put together, I cannot seem to stop making them, for the very simple reason that I have a problem. My name is Falon, and I am addicted to crafting Minnie ears. And with all the millions of fabrics out there in the world, there are just too. many. options. And I can’t stop! The good news is that through my addiction, I have been able to nail down my fabric covered ears making process, and while it is still a pain in the ass, it is much more manageable now that I know what I’m doing. So I figured it was time to share an in depth tutorial with you. This is going to be a long one, but I wanted to really lay out my process step by step. Buckle in folks and get ready for some serious crafting.

First, let’s gather our supplies: fabric of your choice, a headband, foam cut out in the ear shape (I use this template found here), a hot glue gun, E6000 glue, cardboard circles, good scissors, fabric glue, and yarn (yarn is specific to these particular ears, but whatever fabric you use, you will want some kind of trim).

Lay out your fabric wrong side up. Place a thin line of fabric glue along the middle of the ear shape.

Glue the ear to your fabric and let it dry. Then it is helpful to trim down your fabric around the ear. I have found that cutting the corners at a diagonal makes the rest of the gluing process easier.

Now we are going to begin covering the ear template with the fabric. Start with the middle section. Cut in toward the center of the ear template and glue the strip of fabric to the foam using the fabric glue.

Repeat on the other side.

Then comes the tedious part. In order to glue the fabric around the round part of the ears, you need to cut the fabric into thin strips.

Then use the fabric glue to attach each individual strip to the foam. This takes a while when you are first working with fabric ears, but now I get through this stage pretty quickly. A little practice, and you will become a pro.

This is what the back of the ear should look like when you are finished gluing.

Repeat this process until you have two foam ear templates completely covered with your fabric.

Then use the E6000 glue to attach one cardboard circle to each ear part. This does a couple of things. One, it gives the ears more weight so they are sturdier. Two, it helps really seal in all the fabric strips and make sure they stay put. Then (this is important) LET THE EARS DRY OVERNIGHT. Trust me, the remaining steps will be much simpler if your ears are completely dry.

Now comes my least favorite part of the process, attaching the ears to the headband. If you are not good with a hot glue gun, you might want to wear some gloves because I am a glue gun pro and I still manage to burn myself pretty much every time I make a pair of ears. I also recommend completing these next steps while you have some trashy TV on in the background because there is quite a bit of gluing, and then holding until the glue hardens. It’s good to have a distraction during the drying time! Okay, so first you are going to glue the middle section of the ear to the underside of the headband. It’s helpful to mark the ear placement on your headband first (I use a pair of park ears to measure).

Once the ear is secured to the under part of the headband, lay one side of the ear template on a flat surface. Cover that side of the ear with hot glue, then bring the other side down to the glue and attach.

This is what the ears will look like after being attached to the bottom of the headband, and then glued together.

Now comes the God awful part. In order to complete the ears, you need to close up the gaps around the edges. The easiest way to do this is in small sections. I squirt a short line of hot glue into the edge of the ear and then pinch the ear together until the glue dries. Then I move to the next section of the ear and repeat the process. I probably do this four or five times with each ear. The main goal is to not see any of the cardboard by the time you are done.

Once the ears have been pinched together and the glue has dried, it is time to attach the trim. Trim is necessary mainly to hide the yuckiness of all the glue, but it also adds a little something extra. For these ears, I braided some yarn to make my own trim, but I typically use rhinestones on a roll that can be found at Michaels or JoAnn. I used fabric glue to attach the trim to the ears.

Now it is time to make the bow! I have done several different version of bows for ears, but I really like how this one came out, and it was easy. First, cut out a small rectangle of your fabric. Glue the edges (as if you were sewing a seam) so there is no fraying.

Take a garbage bag twist tie or piece of string and cinch in the center of the rectangle to create the bow shape.

Use a smaller strip of the same fabric to cover the tie. I hot glued this piece on and it dried super fast.

The final step is to attach your bow to your ears. Hot glue works best for this step too

I am so in love with how these ears came out! These were such a labor of love, but these are probably the best a pair of fabric ears have come out for me. As much as I loved making ears before, I think I am going to have even more of a problem now!

Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial, I am happy to (attempt to) help you with your own ears any way I can!

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DIY: Thankful Banner Plus a Free Printable

Hello lovelies and happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but I am still finding it hard to believe that it is November already. Not going to lie, I was a little tempted to skip the Thanksgiving festivities and go straight to Christmas, but I decided to wait a while and embrace the season of being thankful for at least a couple of weeks. So I put together this super easy DIY banner that is not only festive for fall, but also a nice visual reminder of how many things I have to be grateful for in my life. I love how it came together and I think I am going to make this a yearly tradition!

First, I created this document in Microsoft Word. It seriously took less than five minutes, but you don’t even have to spend that long because I created a printable version for you! Stay tuned, the link is at the end of the post!

diy thankful banner

I printed the design on some white card stock and cut up the little cards. I grabbed a couple of fall colored Sharpies to use when we write our messages.

I then used some fall colored washi tape to hang a piece of burlap string. We have a window cut out in between our kitchen and living room, and it is the perfect place for hanging banners and the like (especially since we don’t have a mantle).

I then used mini clothespins to hang our thankful for signs all around the banner. The goal is to add a new one each day, so by the time we get to Thanksgiving, we have a whole list of things to be grateful for. I made Matt get in on the action too, we’ll see how long he keeps up with it!

Obviously the first things that came to mind for me were the big ones, namely Matt and Squirt. But there is also room to be thankful for the little things in life, like coffee!

This was such a simple project and I love that it adds a touch of fall decor to the living room. But even more than the aesthetics, I love that every time I walk by it I am reminded of what an amazing life I am living right now. You really can’t go wrong with that! As a bonus, I didn’t have to buy anything for this project, everything I used I already had around the house! Score!

If you would like to print out the thankful for cards for yourself, you can use this link to find a printable version. I hope you enjoy, and I would love to see pictures of your cards in action if you decide to use them! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter, @falonloveslife! What are you feeling thankful for this November?

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DIY: Pretty Halloween Crafts

Halloween is just two weeks away (how did that happen?!?!?) and the season is in full swing. Now, while I am all about fall and Halloween, I am so not into the gore and monsters and yucky stuff that sometimes come along with the holiday. I am much more into the pretty and cute side of Halloween (you can’t separate me from my pink!). So today I have two cute Halloween themed crafts to share with you for those of you who also may want to skip out on the blood and guts. Here’s what we’re making!

I obviously had to make some Halloween themed Minnie ears, and when I saw this fabric at Joann I pretty much squealed out loud with joy. It’s so cute! But also Halloween! I knew it was the perfect fabric to make my Halloween ears (despite the fact that I had previously purchased not one, but two other Halloween themed fabrics to make ears with…don’t judge me). I made these ears following the same tutorial that can be found here. I LOVE how these came out! It was kind of tricky to match up the fabric with the images that I wanted, and I burned the crap out of my fingers working on this bow, but it was so worth it!

Next I wanted to make a tote bag for carting around all of my Halloween goodies. This pink tote bag came in a pack that included an orange and a mint green bag as well. Originally I was going to do some sort of bat or something else Halloween-ish on the orange bag, but then I figured why not make something that is a little more versatile? Let’s be real, I am maybe going to use an orange bag with a bat on it once or twice, but a pink bag with a heart can be used anytime!

Making this bag was super simple. All I did was cut out a black heart from glitter heat transfer vinyl and use my iron to adhere it to the bag. Since I wanted to add at least a little Halloween to the bag, I attached these three Disney villain inspired buttons from Cheery Human Studios. I love that they add a bit of evil for the next two weeks, but that they are easily removable when Halloween is over.

I love how both of these projects came out! Pink, black, and orange is a great color combo and I love how the colors pop and are super vibrant.

Are you more into cute Halloween or scary Halloween? What do you think, should pink become an official Halloween color?

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DIY: Football Themed Mason Jars

Hello football fans! I am so excited that football season is upon us again! I wait for this time of year for a long time, and it always seems to go by so quickly. In my family, we are diehard football fans and we love to celebrate multiple football occasions throughout the season. Recently, we had a party to host our family fantasy football league draft day and I jumped at the chance to make some football themed crafts. I was inspired by this blog post to make these super cute Mason jar football decorations and I absolutely love how they turned out! Plus, if you are anything like me, you already have a plethora of Mason jars lying around the house just waiting to be put to use. Here’s the steps I took to make these football jars!

Gather your supplies: three Mason jars; acrylic craft paint in black, white, brown, light green, and dark green; sponge brushes; a white paint pen; rubberbands.

The first two jars are pretty easy. For the football jar, paint the entire jar brown. I had to do three coats before I got full coverage.

Then use your white paint pen to trace out the laces on the football. This jar happened to have a measurement guide on it, so I used that as the outline for my laces. If you want, you can trace over the paint pen with white paint (I did, it gave the laces a fuller look).

The black jar is designed to look like a chalkboard with a play chalked on it. For this one, simply paint the entire jar black (again, it took about three coats for full coverage). Then use the white paint pen to sketch out a “play”. Matt was kind enough to point out that my X’s and O’s didn’t make sense in terms of how many players I had lined up and where, but I think it’s cute so whatevs.

The football field jar is definitely the most complicated and it has multiple steps. First, paint the jar white. Give it several coats until it is fully painted. Then let it dry overnight. Once the jar is completely dry, use the rubberbands like you would painters tape. Spread them out so they are (somewhat) even and make sure they are completely flat.

Then alternate painting the light and dark green inside each stripe. Since the base of the jar is already white, the green coats didn’t require as much as the black and brown.

When the green paint is totally dry, carefully remove the rubberbands. If you need to, you can go back with a small brush and touch up the white stripes. You can also use the white paint pen to put in the field number markings if you want to (I kind of wish I hadn’t).

When all the jars are completely dried, it’s not a bad idea to seal them. I didn’t and I did see a couple of chips in the coverage after our party. All in all this is a really simple painting project that requires zero artistic skill and produces a super cute result.

Are you a football fan? What are some of your favorite details at a football party?

If you are interested in making these football jars yourself, here are some supplies you can use (affiliate links):

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DIY: Ombré Canvas Zipper Pouch

Hello friends and welcome to another DIY tutorial! I am super psyched about this one because it is pretty easy, and yields (in my opinion) some super cute results. These canvas pouches with funny sayings on them seem to be everywhere these days, and while they are fine as they come, I decided to dress them up and give them a little more flavor. I’ve been wanting to experiment with dye and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! Let’s get to it!

First, gather your supplies. You will need canvas pouches (I scored big time with these, they were in the dollar bin at Michaels!), a hanger with clips on it, a plastic container (this one is the shoe box size), and one packet of Rit dye in the color of your choice. It is also helpful to have a measuring cup and a pitcher if you have them (note that you will be mixing dye in the pitcher so it is not going to be safe for drinks after this!).

Next, clip your pouch in the middle of the hanger.

Then place your pouch in the middle of the plastic container standing up. If you let the hook of the hanger hang over the side of the container, it will help stabilize the pouch and keep it in place.

Now comes the fun part! You should probably follow the directions included with the Rit dye package, however I did not. I mixed about six cups of super hot water with about a third of the packet of dye and stirred it all up (this is where a pitcher comes in handy). The steps I took worked for me and this project, but please follow the official instructions if you are going to be washing your pouch. Once you have the first batch of dye, slowly pour it into the plastic container. Even with the pouch stabilized, you will need to hold onto it as you pour the dyed water in. Let the first round sit for about 12 minutes.

While the first level is sitting, you can start to mix up the next round. Again, take six cups of super hot water and mix it with about a third of the dye package. Once the 12 minutes have elapsed, slowly pour the second batch into the plastic container. Don’t forget to hold on to the pouch while you pour. This round should sit for about eight minutes.

While level two is working, go ahead and mix up the third and final batch of dye. Again, use about six cups of piping hot water and the remaining third of the package of dye. Pour it slowly into the container (really slowly this time since this one will come close to the top). This level will need to sit for about eight minutes.

Once the final level is set, unclip your pouch from the hanger and (you might want gloves for this part) dip the entire pouch fully into the water so the top gets a dash of color. On the teal pouch, I dipped and immediately rinsed, but on the pink I dipped, let it sit for about two minutes, and then rinsed, so you can decide which look you like best.  Rinse in warm water first, and then do a douse of cold water to set the dye.

Lay the pouch out on some layered paper towels and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Then your pouch is all set!

Some tips for this project:

  1. Protect your work surface. If you are working inside your home as I did, make sure your counters are covered. If any dyed water gets on unprotected space, clean it up immediately.
  2. As soon as you finish rinsing out the pouches, wipe down your sink so no colored residue is left behind.
  3. When the pouch is dunked fully in the dyed water, it is going to collect some on the inside. Dump out the pouch in the plastic container before you rinse it in your sink.
  4. As you are working, feel free to check in on the color levels and adjust the times as needed.
  5. If you want to kill two birds with one stone (or dye two pouches with one box of dye) just clip a second pouch behind the first on the hanger. Both will turn out the same color.

I really love how both of these turned out and I think I have been bitten by the ombre bug (took me a while right?). What do you think? Are you still on the ombre train? What should I dye next?

Here are some supplies if you are interested in completing this project yourself (affiliate links):

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