Category Archives: Design

Our Halloween Party Hits the Suburbs

Every year for the past several years we have hosted a Halloween party. This year was very different because there were children involved, which meant no scary or disgusting details could go into the decorations, food, etc. and we are in the suburbs in a house.Orange and Black Halloween Decorations - the crafty mommy

Each room had a different theme. The entryway had spiders and webs galore, while the living room was all black, white, and orange with pumpkins, my painted funkins, witches hats hanging from the ceiling (my personal favorite), and jack-o-lantern treat bags. The dining room was glitter-themed, with glitter pumpkins, candles, and glitter bats and spiders hanging from the ceiling.

The witch hats were strung from the ceiling on thick white string.

The witch hats were strung from the ceiling on thick white string.

I drew jack-o-lantern faces onto plain orange treat bags and filled them with goodies for little guests.

I drew jack-o-lantern faces onto plain orange treat bags and filled them with goodies for little guests.

Mummy Door - the crafty mommy

I bought the spooky eyes at Michael’s and then tore a white bed sheet and wrapped it around our front door to make a mummy.

The front entry was spider themed with a large spider that spanned the entire entryway and miniature spiders and webs everywhere.

The front entry was spider themed with a large spider that spanned the entire entryway and miniature spiders and webs everywhere.

Glitter Pumpkins - the crafty mommy

The dining room had a glitter theme. There were store-bought glittered pumpkins, candles, and hanging spiders and bats all in purple, green, and black glitter.

Just one of the cute and festive party goers.

Just one of the cute and festive party goers.

This guest was dressed up as spider prey. Scary!

This guest was dressed up as spider prey. Scary!

And here we are dressed up as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from Toy Story.

And here we are dressed up as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from Toy Story.

Simple Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Hallowen House - the crafty mommyThis is the first year we’ve had a yard to decorate for Halloween so I was really excited to decorate the inside and outside of the house.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money so I was looking for ways to make a big impact, without spending a lot of time and effort.

Exterior Halloween Decorations - the crafty mommy

My favorite outdoor decoration are the “boarded up” windows. I used cardboard boxes, cut them up into long, narrow pieces (sometimes taping two pieces together on the backside to make the right size). Then, using scissors, I cut the edges to look like scrap pieces of wood. And finally I took brown spray paint and loosely painted the cardboard here and there and outlined knots and grooves to accentuate the paint with a brown permanent marker.

To hang them I used double-sided outdoor tape, which has held up remarkably well. We have had several storms and the boards have stayed in place without a problem.

I also used wooden dowels and added some styrofoam tombstones to the yard with plastic hands coming up out of the ground.

Halloween Porch - the crafty mommy

To top it all off I tied cornstalks to the columns of our front porch, lanterns I got from Pier 1 (they look like the ones from Pottery Barn, but are much less expensive), and some gourds and funkins. The funkins, I carved and shaved with our initial and haunted house designs.

I think the end result looks great and is sure to draw a lot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Easy Halloween (or Anytime) Ribbon Garland

Halloween Mantel - the crafty mommy

I love ribbon, and always have a lot leftover from other projects. This year for Halloween, I decide to use some old and some new ribbon to make a festive garland for my mantle.

I paired it with a store-bought “Trick-or-Treat” banner from Pottery Barn Kids and some black and white funkins I painted and voila, a modern, decorative mantel perfect for Halloween or all fall long.

Craft Exchange and So Much More…

I’m back in the groove this week (sort of) with posting, but I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately. It has been crazier than usual around here. We have had lots of projects going on around the house, plus I have signed on to way more freelance projects that I can probably handle.

I have lots of exciting things to share with you in the upcoming weeks. One just happened this past weekend and it was H’s 2nd birthday party.

I’m also gearing up for our annual Halloween party. This will be the first time we are hosting it at our new house in Connecticut, so the stakes are high. I want to do it bigger and better than ever before, plus this time around we have the outdoors to decorate as well.

And finally, but not least, I have joined an exciting group called the Craft Exchange ‪#‎craftXCHallenge‬. We were fortunate enough to get sponsorship from Martha Stewart Crafts #‎marthastewart‬ and so we have some amazing materials to work with.

craft exchange supplies-the crafty mommy

This has been a bit of challenge for me. I basically have to make five of my project using the following: flocking powder, decoupage, and fringe scissors. I think I’ve figured out a fun way of integrating all of these materials together, but if you have any ideas, please send them my way. Once I do figure out what I’m making and then actually make it, I’ll be sure to share the final product here with you. Stay tuned!

DIY Monster Birthday Invitations

diy monster invitations - the crafty mommyI love the Internet! There are so many great ideas and photos you can use for inspiration. I knew for H’s second birthday I wanted to do a monster theme (if you haven’t been around him lately, you probably haven’t heard him roar, but he’s obsessed with Monster’s Inc. and Monster’s University).

I looked for adorable invites that I could just order online and be done with it, but I unfortunately didn’t see any I liked. So I decided to make my own, and they were so easy.

Materials
Lime green paper
White paper
Blue paper
Black paper
Circle cutter (see below for specifics)
Self-healing mat
Glue stick
Black marker

How to Make the Monster Birthday Invitations
1. All you need is blue, lime green, black, and white paper (I used scrapbook weight paper to give it some heft) and a circle cutter. I used two, the large circle cutter and the simple circle cutter, both from Martha, but you could get away with using just the simple circle cutter if you wanted. I also used a circle punch from Martha for the smallest circle, but again, you could use the simple circle cutter if you just wanted to purchase one tool. Tip: If you’re using the simple circle cutter, make sure you hold down the paper with whatever hand you’re not cutting with, the thing I don’t like about this cutter is the paper can tend to slip messing up your perfect circle.
2. On your self-healing mat, using your circle cutter, cut a circle from the lime green paper measuring 6 inches (you can get away with cutting two from one piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper you just have to plan ahead when cutting). Cut a circle out of the white paper measuring 4 inches. Then cut a circle out of the blue paper measuring 1 15/16 inches. And finally cut a black circle 1 inch.
3. With a glue stick, glue the white circle on the lime green circle, slightly off-center. It should be towards one side more than the other so you’re leaving room for the mouth.
4. Next, glue the blue circle in the middle of the white circle and glue the black circle in the middle of the blue circle.
5. Finish the monster face by drawing a smiley face (or whatever you like) with a black marker.
6. For the party details, I typed them out in Word (ensuring the type didn’t measure more than 6 inches – the size of my lime green circle) and printed it out on the same white paper I used for the front. I used my circle cutter again to make a 5 1/2-6 inch circle and glued that to the back.

I mailed them using white envelopes I found at Paper Source.

I always say the invitation sets the tone of the party. It’s the first impression your guests will get and I think this is definitely a start to a great party!

Our Improved Sun Porch

I found white lanterns from Ikea in two sizes (big and small) that sit all around the room. The indoor/outdoor rug was a steal at $60 from OneKingsLane.com and can easily be hosed off if need-be.

I found white lanterns from Ikea in two sizes (big and small) that sit all around the room. The indoor/outdoor rug was a steal at $60 from OneKingsLane.com and can easily be hosed off if need-be.

We are lucky enough that our house came with a three season (or what I would really call two season) sun porch.

From what I have been told by our neighbors who have lived here for over 20 years, this great space has never been used. I definitely intended to change that, but first it needed some sprucing up.

Because we live just a few minutes walk from the beach, I decided to go with a beach theme for the details and artwork.

We love to entertain out here, H loves to play out here (hence why a lot of his toys are stored here), and my husband and I like to light the lanterns and have a cocktail after the baby is asleep and just talk. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to go for date nights with him.

Introducing My Mickey and Minnie Mouse Party Kits

I’m so excited to announce I just launched another party kit theme in my Etsy.com store. It is the Mickey and Minnie Mouse party kit and it is my favorite party theme yet.

Are you hosting a party for a boy? No worries, I can customize everything to be Mickey Mouse. Having a party for a little girl? I can do all Minnie Mouse too. Or mix them together to create a little bit of both.

In this kit you get the following (it’s the biggest one yet):
- 10 favor bags with Mickey handles
- 18’ of mouse garland
- 10 handmade invitations, which you can customize with details
- 20 red polka dot straws
- 10 sets of ears for the kids to wear (you can specify whether you want Mickey and Minnie or just Minnie or just Mickey)
- 4 black balloons with mouse ears
- Instructions for putting it all together

I can also make more or less of the items in this kit (like the favor bags and ears if you are having a larger or small party), just message me. You can also buy any of the items in my kits individually, just shoot me an email and let me know what you’d like to purchase and I will work with you to customize the detail of your party. Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!

DIY Pottery Barn Curtains

finished roman shadesI absolutely love these curtains, however, I do not love the price of them. I could not justify spending this much times three for H’s room, but have wanted a similar look to finish his nursery (more photos to come soon of the completed room).

So I searched high and low for a less expensive version of the white curtains that I could add my own trim to.

I think the end result is pretty darn close to the original and I couldn’t be happier with them.

Pottery Barn Total: $447

Total Cost for Mine: $250

Materials for DIY Pottery Barn Curtains

White roman shades to fit your windows (I used blackout ones since this is for a nursery)
Ruler or tape measure
Fabric pencil
Grosgrain ribbon – the length of your curtains times 2 plus 2 inches for each shade (I got mine from Pins & Needles, one of my favorite shops in the city)
Fabric scissors
Pins
Needle and thread (the thread should match the color of the ribbon)
Hot glue gun

How to Make the DIY Pottery Barn Curtains

measuring shades1. Lay your curtains out on the floor fully open (you can also do this after they’re hung if you’d prefer). From each side, measure in 4 inches with your ruler and mark it with your fabric pencil. I added a mark every fold of the shade.
2. Measure your grosgrain ribbon so it is the length of your curtains plus 2 inches. Cut two pieces for every shade.

shade with trim 3. Fold under each end of the ribbon so there is a nice finish and to prevent fraying and pin at the top. Working your way down the curtains, continue pinning so the edge of the ribbon sits inside of the marks you made and lays straight.

trim on shades 4. Take your needle and thread and make a few stitches just above every fold of the shade to keep your ribbon in place. When finished with this part, repeat steps 3 and 4 with the second piece of ribbon.
5. To finish, take your hot glue gun and glue the ribbon down to the shade in between where you sewed it down.

DIY Mouse Pad

leather mouse pad diy

I’m not a big fan of the traditional mouse pads you can buy at office supply stores. I just don’t think they’re very stylish and there aren’t a whole lot of options to choose from, so I decided to make my own based on an idea that a co-worker of mine at Martha came up with.

I bought this piece of teal leather from Michael’s, which was only $6.00, used my fabric scissors to cut a shape of my choosing, and now I have a stylish and sophisticated pad for my mouse.

You could also do the same thing with a larger piece of leather if you wanted to make a desk blotter.

My New Office and Craft Room

desk in white officeWe have an small, extra room on our second floor that I wasn’t quite sure what we would use it for. It is literally 8×8 feet and has a row of very skinny windows that look out to our backyard.

My husband suggested it be my office/craft room, something I have always dreamed of having. So for my birthday, my wonderful husband designed and built me a new home office in this room.

craft desk with sewing machine

I now have a custom “L” shaped desk that I can have my sewing machine and computer set up on. I also have great storage and shelving and a place to hang and put all of my important documents, craft supplies, party kits (which were starting to take over the whole room), books, and wrapping paper.

The end result makes me want to work and craft all the time (something I do a lot anyway, but will be especially excited to do now).

Tips for Organizing an Efficient Office Space

  • I like to organize items by category or material. So I have separate cups for pens, pencils, markers, and tools. I also have drawers for each of the following scrapbooking paper (organized by color), fabric, sewing supplies, office supplies, etc.

office 6

 

office 7

 

I love this modular table on wheels. I can use it as a separate desk space for when I’m cutting items on my self-healing mat, or roll it around to hold items I need within arm’s reach. I also store my fabrics, paper, templates, and supplies in these drawers by color.

 

  • Have multiple places to store things out of sight, but also have a few places to hang things that you want in front of you. So I have three sets of drawers for storying things out of sight and a cork board, and shelves for things that I want within reach and out in the open.
  • For anything that doesn’t fit in my drawers or on my shelves, I have matching white boxes from IKEA. They are nice to look at, but hide items that I don’t want out in the open. I stack them under my desk neatly and label them so I know what’s in each (ribbons and bows, gift bags, printer paper, photos, etc.). I always have a few extra on hand (folded up) so nothing gets too out of order.
  • Designate separate spaces. I have a work space on one side of my desk where I have pens, paper, my laptop, and files, then I have a separate space for my crafting and projects (or wrapping presents). This space has my sewing machine, a self-healing mat, and all of my craft supplies.
  • A monochromatic office is a happy office. I decided to get a white desk, white chair, and white desk supplies (for the most part). I just think it looks really clean, it’s easy to spot other things I have on my desk, and I can mix in colorful accents with no problem.
  • Keep files and magazines organized and go through them often to get rid of what you don’t need. I use white magazine holders so I know exactly where my magazines are at all times. I also have fun file folders that I use for my files, which I also label. Stacks of paperwork are okay, but they at least need to be organized and sorted so you know what is what.

white magazine files

  • The P-Touch is my friend. When everything is labeled the same, it makes me feel really organized. I P-Touch all of my files, my magazine holders, and my boxes. I even use it to label the inside of my drawers if I feel I need a little extra help.
  • And finally, create a fun and comfortable space. You won’t want to work in a room you don’t like going into. Add special touches, photos, illustrations, music, whatever makes you happy and helps you be productive.

office 5

 

I love fresh flowers so I always have at least one bud on my desk like this peony from my garden. I also have a framed first issue signed by the original EIC of People magazine for inspiration, my phone, photos of my son, and a paper weight that is my initial.