DIY | Dessert Table Treat Box

Earlier this week, I featured pictures from my baby shower which you may have seen these adorable treat boxes my sister made for the dessert table.  Apparently, these are a bit more challenging than one would anticipate so here is a brief tutorial on how she made them. Note: white boxes were purchased from Michaels.


Floral Dreams

A few good things come out of a DIY wedding, but one underestimated thing is the mad craft skills you gain! We {we = every girl related to me that I could possibly recruit to help} did all our own centerpieces for our wedding and I have to say, despite my minor meltdown at 12am on the Thursday night before whereby I exclaimed this is the worst idea I have ever had to which my sister gladly cured with a ice cold cocktail, they turned out beautiful!  We got a few pointers from a skilled florist and went with it from there. Two years later, I am still reaping the benefits of those floral skills, as I made this birthday centerpiece for Ryan’s sister using two bunches of Trader Joe’s flowers. As for tips, your best friend when making a centerpiece: Oasis Floral Foam!

DIY | Bathroom Tray

Since, the blog has been filled with tons of nature, travel, adventure types of photographs lately, I thought it was time to bring the girlieness back and this bathroom tray is just the ticket!

When we first moved into our new apartment, I spent several Home Goods trips looking for the perfect tray to accent my new soap dispenser.  All of the trays I came across were either too modern, bulky, big, or sloped in the middle like a saucer. I realized that an old picture frame was just the perfect size and had enough decoration to add to my otherwise plain bathroom counter. I planned to purchase some really cool, vintage looking fabric from Joann’s, but was to eager to wait for a trip to the store, so instead I used a piece of lace I had on hand. {The lace actually came from a pair of H&M lace tights which were hideous and oh so 80’s Madonna-esq, but they were only $10 and I knew that lace would come in handy for a project somewhere down the road!}

I removed the old picture from a 4×6 frame. I flipped the back piece of cardboard over, so the black velvet side would be facing up, not the cardboard side. Then cut the lace leaving about 3/4″ extra so that I could wrap it around the velvet and hot glue. Once all the lace was glued and the corners were cut down so they weren’t too bulky, I placed the glass back into the frame, followed by the new lace backing and closed the hinges. I now had a bathroom tray that would hold all my little girlie treats!


DIY | Ruffley Table Runner

I find table runners the perfect way to dress up any table. I like them better than a tablecloth because they accent the beautiful furniture rather than totally covering it up. I made these table runners for the dessert buffet {pictured above} and again, sorry I do not have step-by-step pictures. I think it is a curse and if I plan to document a project step-by-step my project does not turn out to be something I want to feature because either {1} it didn’t taste good or {2} it was ugly. While there aren’t good step-by-step instructions hopefully this will inspire some ideas on how you can create your own runner. {Side note: adding ruffles or additional accent fabric  is a great way to make it longer just in case you made it a little bit to short}SUPPLIES:
– Fabric for Runner {16″ x 60ish”}
Iron-on Hem Tape
– Scissors
– 28″ of Trim
– Chiffon for Ruffles
– Needle & Thread
– Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue
– Tape Measure

– Cut table runner fabric to desired length, I did mine at 16″ wide x 57″ to allow 1/2 – 3/4″ fold over on the hem {this was placed onto a short console table which was only 45″ long and I wanted the runner to end up at 14″ x 55″}
– Follow instructions on the Iron-on hem box and hem all four sides of the fabric
– Cut chiffon 2 – 3x times wider than runner {mine was 30″ x 6″}
– Loosely sew thread through top of chiffon; gather chiffon to create ruffles
– Hot glue or sew chiffon ruffle to table runner {i hot glued because I am lazy and didn’t plan on keeping this thing after the party}
– Cut trim and glue to top of runner
– Place on table and admire!


DIY | Mixer Labels

My favorite projects are those that are inexpensive AND look good. It’s even better if you can use stuff you already own because then it makes it almost free! Any do-it-yourself project must meet these requirements because no matter how cheap something is, if it doesn’t look good I don’t care how inexpensive it was to make! Similarly, if something is going to cost me a fortune to make, why would I DIY when I can probably find for cheaper and with less work?

These mixers were used at the Love Story bridal shower posted several weeks ago and I have to say they were 100% free. I created these labels myself using Photoshop and had my Mom print onto sticker paper which she had on hand. {Disclosure: I am no graphic artist and do not pretend to be – I just learn enough to be able to create unique touches to everyday parties. So the circle may not be perfectly round and areas maybe pixelly, but hopefully your guests will be sipping on the yummy champagne and not be paying much attention to these tiny flaws that most people won’t notice unless you are picky like me}.

Feel free to download.

Note: Do not print directly from the Google Documents Viewer. Please download and open from Adobe PDF (they should be in color once downloaded and opened this way).

Once downloaded, print onto sticker or label paper, cut out, and stick onto empty wine bottles. Fill with appropriate juice and drink away!


DIY | Love Story Beverage Tray

If you remember, we hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law a few months ago posted here. One of the many projects was a beverage tray for the champagne buffet.  When I couldn’t find a tray that matched the theme, I resorted to making my own {actually, I made two}! The best part, the whole cost of the project was under $14!

Because my hands were full of either paint or glue, I was not able to take step-by-step pictures, but in short…

– Wooden tray from Michaels – $3 with 40% off coupon
– Mod Podge – $6
– Paint Brush – free
– Gold Stamp Pad– free
– Custom Paper {psd or .jpg} – free
– Paint – I used an ivory acrylic paint– $1.79
– Sand Paper {not pictured} – free
– Twine {not pictured} – free
– Hot Glue {not pictured} – free

– Download paper from links above {or use your own}
– Print paper onto 11×17 paper and cut to fit inside of tray
– Paint wooden tray
– Sand edges to give a worn look
– Apply light amounts of gold (I used an ink pad) to sanded edges and wipe off excess
– Place paper inside of tray to test fit. Remove paper and apply a thin layer of mod podge to bottom of tray. Place paper into bottom of tray pressing out any air bubbles. Let dry.
– Apply one or two layers of mod podge to top of paper to give it a “seal”.
– Wrap twine around handles for accent and hot glue the end making sure the twine end stops on the backside of the handle.
– Grab drinks and place onto tray for display!


Bookshelf TLC

Decorating…….it is one of those things that no matter how much I study others and try “buy what I love” my results never seem to please me. And while others, such as Rita at Design Compass,  have no problem visualizing color schemes, patterns, and sofa configurations, I struggle through trial and error until I achieve something that I can live with.

Case in point, here is my “before” of a bookshelf that Ryan built for our old apartment. While this bookshelf is not quite Edwardian antique material, it is something that I couldn’t dare kick to the curb (just yet) because I knew how much love and work went into it. I took a few odds and ends around the house mixing silver, colored books, and white porcelain. As you can see, it was quite barren and “mismatchy”.

After living with the barren bookshelf for a week, I was not happy and continually plotting how to improve its esthetics. I remembered that we had two boxes of white serving pieces that were given to us as wedding gifts for which did not fit into our kitchen. I decided to decorate the bookshelf keeping to a theme of black and whites.

I planted oregano and some white flowering ground cover in the empty containers to bring a freshness to the space. While these might die in a  few weeks, I only spent $5 on both plants and figure I can easily replace them.

I hope to add more white pieces to the bookshelf as time goes one, but this is how it will sit for now!


DIY | Welcome Baskets | Beer

Several people have recently asked if I ever did a recap of projects from our wedding…the answer is no. Frankly, after our wedding was over I was SPENT! I did not want to think about another trip to Michael’s or another phone call with my wedding planner (haha…this was actually my Mom who I called Tres Fabu during this time to differentiate Mom mode vs. wedding planner mode). After our wedding,  I was officially “weddinged out”.  I never did a recap or explained each project and I will tell you, there were a lot. So, while our wedding was almost two years ago, I still think some of our projects will be helpful to potential brides and don’t worry, I am not going to go wedding crazy again and start planning a vow renewal anytime soon!!! While I do not have pictures of all of the DIY projects, I will try to weed them into the blog with as much detail as I can.

The first project I will feature are the welcome gift baskets our guests received.  Guests had the choice between a beer or champagne basket. The beer baskets included:

Photo by Lyndsay Undseth

1. Home Brewed Beer: I came up with this idea because in my research for “Welcome Baskets” most articles said to include something local from the area (New Orleans = Pralines, Vermont = Maple, etc). I could not think of anything local to include as my town is not known for much except gold mining and I could not afford to buy a vile of gold for everyone (sorry guests).   My Dad has brewed beer as a hobby for several years and I thought it would be a fun touch to have a special batch brewed for the wedding. I designed the labels and called it “Padre’s El Dorado Ale” (Padre is the nickname we gave to my Dad in 9th grade when I began learning Spanish). My Mom printed my design onto waterproof labels which were then affixed to the beer bottles.

2. Custom Map of Local Area: I fell in looooove with Laura Hooper’s custom maps and  had to have one of these but with our limited budget I knew I had to resort to the DIY version. I had my sister draw a map using a Sharpie marker which was then scanned into the computer where I used Photoshop to color in each individual area (tutorial to hopefully come).Obviously, this is a far cry from having a custom Laura Hooper map, but it was the best I could do.

3. Chex® Muddy Buddies®: Um….basically the best things ever. If you are not familiar with these, here is the recipe.I purchased mini canning jars for $.99 each at Michael’s and filled with this yummy mix.

4. Bag of Peanuts: You can’t have beer without peanuts! I purchased mini muslin bags from Etsy and purchased a custom rubber stamp from which I designed myself.  I stamped the bags with red Colorbox ink purchased from Michaels.

I tied everything up with red yarn and dropped off at the hotel to be distributed to the guests. Note: Please check with your hotel to make sure they will allow gift baskets, especially if they include alcohol.

I love the idea being welcomed with a little basket of goodies, because seriously, who doesn’t like an extra snack or two after a few hours of traveling!



So after we assembled our frame wall, I decided we had enough pictures up in the house and needed to switch out these two pictures for something else, not to mention one frame did not have any glass anymore because it shattered somehow at the wedding. I thought I might do the sketches mentioned here, but I needed several supplies such as fabric, iron-on transfer, etc. In the meantime, before I had a chance to purchase those items, I came up with the idea of using the sand dollars Ryan finds and brings home for me while at the beach surfing or on a run.

I removed the glass from the frame and used burlap that I had left over after making the table runner used at this photoshoot. I cut the burlap slightly larger than the back cardboard of the frame and hot glued it in place. You can see the burlap frayed a bit, but this will be the back anyways so know one will see this. I then took a huge amount of hot glue and applied it to the back of the sand dollar and stuck it straight onto the burlap.

I repeated this again on frame no. 2 and waw-la! The whole project took me about 20 minutes start to finish!

I love this project because you can take any fabric you have laying around, preferably one with a bit of texture, and glue any items onto it for instant “art”. While they are no Picasso’s, they certainly help fill an empty wall!


DIY Cookbook.

While I have lots of different cookbooks, there is one that is filled with more love and comfort than any of the others – and that is the homemade family cookbook. This cookbook began as a gift from my Mom during my college years, in which she filled it with all of the favorite family recipes, including the recipe for my favorite home cooked meal, spaghetti!

Since then, I have added clippings from Rachel Ray magazine or recipes from Better Homes and Garden.  I laugh because the dessert section is by far the biggest with over 20 recipes!!!

It finally came time to give this treasured book a cover that it deserved. So here is my 100% free homemade cookbook.


I used a 1.5″  black 3-ring binder and Avery top-loading clear sheet protectors for the labels and recipes. For the labels, I used Avery’s 8-tab dividers with printable labels. You will notice that if you place the tabs directly in the binder they will be the same width  as your recipes (so you will not be able to see them). To solve this problem, I inserted the entire white tab divider into the clear sheet protectors and cut a little slit in the sheet protector so that the tab would poke through. This allowed the tabs to be seen on the outside of the recipes. Sorry, I do not have a picture of this step.

We’ve created a free template of our cookbook and spine that you can download and customize with your own name on the cover and spine. Please note that you must have Photoshop to open the PSD and edit the type layers. You also may need to download the font that we used right here (it’s also free).