Gift Box Advent Calendar

gift advent calendar

I can’t believe how fast November has gone by. With December starting in just a few days, I thought it would be a great time to share this simple Advent calendar idea with you. I haven’t made one of these since I was a kid. And I’m so excited to countdown to Christmas with fun activities. Here’s how you can make your own too.

DIY Gift Box Advent Calendar – what you need:

  • small cardboard boxes
  • colorful wrapping or tissue paper
  • yarn
  • paper scraps and pen

gift box advent calendar diy

gifts advent calendar

gift box advent diy

gift box advent calendar

gift box christmas mantel

Step 1: Come up with fun ideas

The best part of making any Advent calendar is coming up with the ideas to include. Think about the things you’d like for you and your family to do throughout the month of December. And then write them all on small scraps of paper and fold them in half.

Step 2: Set up the boxes

Then you’ll need to come up with 25 small cardboard boxes to house each of your ideas. You can either buy small boxes or cut up some cereal boxes to make your own.

Step 3: Wrap and decorate

Then you’ll need to wrap each of the boxes with colorful paper and tie yarn around them with little bows at the top. Display the boxes on your mantel or other prominent space in you home and have fun opening them throughout December.

diy gift box advent calendar

Friendsgiving Photo Centerpieces

friendsgiving photo centerpieces

Friendsgiving: a Thanksgiving celebration with friends. It’s always one of my favorite parts of November. And if you’re planning on having a Friendsgiving celebration with your own group, I have a fun and super easy decoration idea to make your Friendsgiving table a bit more festive and personal.

DIY Friendsgiving Photo Centerpieces – what you need:

  • clear mason jars
  • photos of your friends
  • fake flowers

friendsgiving photo jars

friendsgiving flower centerpieces

friendsgiving photo jar centerpieces

friendsgiving centerpieces

This is such an easy project, it doesn’t really even require steps. You just need to remove the lids from your jars, add your photos to the insides so that you can see them from every angle. And then add your fake flowers to the jars.

That’s it! Put them out on the tables at your next Friendsgiving or other fun event. You can, of course, do the same with photos of your family and add them to your Thanksgiving table as well.

friendsgiving photo centerpiece

Top Planners for 2016

best 2016 planners

We’re getting closer to 2016. And you know what that means: It’s time for a new planner (or two!) I’m a sucker for organizational tools, so this time of year is very exciting for me. I love picking out planners that will help me set and stick to my goals. So this year, I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. This might help you make a decision, but it could also help me as I’m still undecided.

Which are your favorite planners for 2016? And which one(s) do you think I should buy??

Make a Ring Dish That Looks Like an Egg

egg dish

This little dish probably qualifies as a thing you never really knew you needed. It’s perfect for storing your rings or other little trinkets. And I don’t know why, but I just like making things that look like my favorite foods. So here you go – a ring dish that looks like an egg.

DIY Egg Dish – what you need:

  • air dry clay
  • white and yellow paint
  • paintbrush

clay egg dish diy

clay egg dish

egg jewelry dish

Step 1: Form the dish

Take your clay and form it into a semi-flat irregular shape (that’s the beauty of making something that looks like an egg – there’s no wrong shape!) with a bit of a ridge around the edges. Then take another smaller piece of clay and roll it into a ball and use your thumbs to create a sort of bowl shape with it.

Step 2: Paint

Allow the clay to fully dry before painting. Once dry, paint the larger, irregular shape white and the smaller circular shape yellow.

Step 3: Let it dry

Once the paint is fully dry, place the yellow piece on top of the white one and use the dish to store your rings or whatever else fits! Easy as that!

egg ring dish diy

Easy Halloween Nail Art

halloween nail art

I got the urge to spookify my nails earlier this week so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s really simple and you only need two nail polishes and basically nothing else. See, I don’t even know what else to say about it.

DIY Spooky Halloween Nail Art – what you need:

  • black nail polish
  • red nail polish
  • um… nails

black nails

black and red nail art

Step 1: Paint nails black

I don’t think I really need to elaborate here.

Step 2: Add red to the base of each nail

Once the black coat is completely dry, take some bright red polish and add it to the bottom of your nails right around your cuticle.

Step 3: Add dripping effect

While the red part is still wet, use the brush to bring some of the red polish up toward the tip of each nail. Do this a couple times on each one so that it sort of looks like blood dripping.

That’s it!

spooky drink

Spooky Eyeball Sugar Cookies

eyeball cookies

I can’t believe Halloween is almost here! I’ve hardly had time to do any baking. But I was able to create these super simple eyeball cookies the other day. You can really easily recreate them with just a few ingredients and supplies.

DIY Eyeball Sugar Cookies – what you need:

  • sugar cookie dough or mix
  • plain white frosting
  • red, blue, and yellow food coloring
  • three ziplock bags
  • scissors

sugar cookies

frosted sugar cookies

diy eyeball cookies

eye cookies

eyeball cookie

Step 1: Bake cookies

The actual cookies you make don’t matter too much to how the finished product will look. You just need to make some plain sugar drop cookies. So choose your favorite dough, mix or recipe to make them from scratch. Bake and let cool before moving onto the next step.

Step 2: Frost cookies

Use some plain white frosting to cover each cookie evenly. Pretty simple.

Step 3: Add pupils

Add a few spoonfuls of icing into a ziplock bag and then add equal parts red, blue, and yellow food coloring. Mix it all together and then continue adding food coloring until the frosting is black. Cut the corner off of the bag and then add small circles of the black icing to the center of each sugar cookie.

In another bag, do the same but just add yellow and blue food coloring to make the icing green. Then add a circle of the green icing around the black dot in the middle.

Step 4: Add veins

Next, add some more icing to a third bag with red food coloring. Cut a smaller hole in the corner of this bag and use it to add some little veins emanating from the black and green icing in the center. Let the icing dry completely and then just enjoy!

eye sugar cookies

Creative DIY Pumpkins

creative diy pumpkins

It’s pumpkin decorating season! I just love seeing the cool ideas that people come up with for decorating pumpkins for trick-or-treaters. Here are my favorite creative ideas for this year!

What are your favorite pumpkin ideas for this year?

Pacman Ghost Garland

pacman ghost garland

Halloween is one of my favorite events to DIY for. I already have a huge stash of handmade decorations and my mantle is packed. But I couldn’t resist making a little ghost garland inspired by those colorful Pacman ghosts. It’s easy and fun and I highly recommend that you make one for your home too. Here’s how!

DIY Pacman Ghost Garland – what you need:

  • felt in various colors (red, pink, light blue, orange, white, and darker blue)
  • scissors
  • hot glue
  • black embroidery thread
  • embroidery needle
  • small white pom poms or pieces of felt

felt ghost shapes

pacman ghost diy

diy pacman ghost garland

pacman garland

Step 1: Cut out the ghosts

First, you’ll need to start with basic pixelated ghost shapes – cut them out of your red, pink, light blue, and orange(ish) felt. I cut out two of each color, but the length of the garland is up to you! Use the photos above (or any photo of pacman ghosts) as a guide.

Step 2: Add the eyes

Then you’ll need to add eyes cut out of your white and darker blue felt. Use hot glue to attach the white pieces to each ghost shape. Then add the little blue rectangles over the top of the white felt.

Step 3: String it all together

When all of your ghosts are put together, use your embroidery thread and needle to string them together. Add little white pom poms or pieces of white felt to the thread in between each ghost. That sort of gives it the look of a real pacman game, I think.

Step 4: Display it!

When it’s all strung together, just tie or otherwise secure each end of the garland to your mantle, shelf or other place in your home. Then enjoy it for the rest of the Halloween season (or all year long, if you prefer – no judgement here!)

pacman halloween decorations

My Favorite DIY Halloween Costumes

diy halloween costumes

I’m still not sure what I’m going to be for Halloween this year. But it’s definitely not because there’s a shortage of inspiration out there. I’ve actually seen way too many cool DIY ideas this year to even pick one. So I’ve rounded up some of my favorites here. Maybe you all can help me decide (or they can provide some inspiration for you as well)!

Which one is your favorite??

Paint Your Plant Pots Like Pumpkins

diy pumpkin planters

Okay, first and foremost, I’m really proud of the alliteration in this post title. Secondly, this project is super easy and fall-y. And while my pots didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned, I have some tips to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes. Let’s begin!

DIY Pumpkin Plant Pots – what you need:

  • plain terra cotta pots (preferrably plant-less to start, but that’s not an absolute requirement)
  • painter’s tape
  • black acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • black fine-tip marker (optional)

diy fall pots

diy jack o lantern pot

fall plant pots

Step 1: Tape the area to be painted

Start with clean, dry pots. And use small pieces of painter’s tape to outline two triangles for eyes, one for a nose, and then a mouth with a few teeth sticking out. I would recommend (though I didn’t do this) that you use a long strip of tape to outline the bottom of both eyes so that they’re even. The mouth is the trickiest part – you have to do some trial and error to get it how you want.

Step 2: Paint and let dry

Once all of the tape is in place, add a layer of black paint to the outlined areas with a paintbrush. Let it dry, and add another coat if necessary. Wait until the paint is fully dry to remove the tape. Then use a fine-tip marker to fix any blemishes or missed spots.

Step 3: Add some other embellishments

If you have another pot or two you want to decorate, you can try making it just a plain old pumpkin by drawing lines up and down like in the second pumpkin shown above. Mine didn’t turn out exactly like I was hoping, so I think adding just a bit of rounding to the lines might get the whole pumpkin thing across a bit better. But I think it still works.

Step 4: Display!

Then, if you haven’t already, add your soil and plants. Then just put your new festive planters out for all to see. They’re like jack-o-lanterns that won’t just rot on your porch! Hooray!

fall planters