Easy DIY Gift Baskets

Whether you’re trying to make a custom, one-of-a-kind gift basket for a friend’s birthday, need a last-minute house-warming present for a loved one, a token of appreciation when meeting your significant other’s family for the first time, or simply a just-because gift, these gift baskets will become your go-to idea! …

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

What costume will you wear for Halloween?

Halloween is fast-approaching, and time is running out to figure out what ghoulish goblin or pretty princess you’ll trek out into the night as on October 31st. At this point, you’ve got 11 days to shop-and-ship, and let’s be honest: are you really going to trust the expedited shipping to get your costume to your home in time? Not to mention–will it fit?

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Last-Minute Memorial Day Decorations

** LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? FROM JUNE 19 to JUNE 26, GO HERE TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN YOUR OWN 4-PIECE SET OF BISTRO CHALK MARKERS BY MARVY UCHIDA FOR CHALKBOARD PROJECTS! **

 

Man, this month is just flying by, isn’t it?! It seems like just yesterday it was Mother’s day, I blinked, and bam, Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner!

Today I thought I’d share a quick and easy DIY Project: DIY Last Minute Memorial Day Decorations

Memorial Day 4th of July Decorations Chalkboard Display

Seriously, y’all, this display took me about 15 minutes total, which is exactly how long I like to spend on holiday decorations in my home, haha. Okay, okay, it might take you a BIT longer if you have to take the time to chalkboard paint the bottles and an old picture frame, but still, this project shouldn’t take you more than a day, total. And just in time for Memorial Day weekend, no less!

Materials:

  • Empty, cleaned wine bottles with labels removed.
  • Old picture frame
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • Chalkboard markers (I used Marvy Uchida Bistro Chalkboard Markers)
  • Any other red, white, and blue decorations you have lying around.

And that’s it! Seriously!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab you chalkboard spray paint, spray on 2 coats, wait to dry, then get to decorating!

Chalkboard Spray Paint Project

 

The best part? When you’re done, use a wet rag, and you’ll have a clean slate for the next holiday (or leave it up for Fourth of July?)! I used Marvy Uchida Chalkboard Bistro Markers for this project. They’re SO easy to use. Shake, press, and draw as if you were using a regular marker. The best part is they clean up super easily, and stand out brightly against the chalkboard background. If you’re looking for a last-minute project to spruce up your place for Memorial Day weekend (perhaps a Memorial Day BBQ?), then these will add a little cute pizzazz in less than a day’s work!

Chalkboard Memorial Day 4th of July Decorations Wine Bottles

Chalkboard Memorial Day 4th of July Board Decorations

 

What other decorations are you planning on displaying for Memorial Day weekend? Do you usually buy and save Memorial Day/4th of July decorations to use year after year? Or do you opt for the disposable, one-use decor for your BBQ party needs?

 

DIY Pillow Cover in Five Easy Steps

I’m back with another Drab to Fab for y’all:

DIY hand-sewn pillow cover!

This is one of the Pinterest project attempts completed for the 30-before-30 challenge: 30 completed Pinterest projects. View the rest here.

I had seen so many pillow case tutorials online, and sewing-machine tutorials for decorative pillow covers. But as ironic as it is, this avid DIY-er does not own a sewing machine (yet)! Because of this, the easier the template, and the fewer stitches needed, the better. And thus, though I pulled some tips and tricks from other Pinterest pins of pillow covers, I’m sharing a tutorial for those of y’all who also stick to the traditional way of sewing–by hand!

DIY Pillow cover

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Easy and Quick DIY St. Patrick’s Day “Feelin’ Lucky” Bunting Banner

Hey there, all my crafty vixens!

February always seems to come and go so quickly, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday I was figuring out what heart-shaped goodies to give my Valentine.

St. Patrick’s Day will be here before you know it. In honor of the holiday (and because I needed an excuse to FINALLY take down the Merry Christmas bunting banner… I know, I have holiday decor problems), here’s a quick set of pictures to give you some inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day home decor.

Specifically, a Feelin’ Lucky bunting banner!

Looking for a full tutorial? Use the dimensions and tips in my previous bunting projects: Give Thanks Bunting Banner, and Merry Christmas Bunting Banner.

I used a mixture of 60-cent scrapbook papers and laminated white burlap for the bunting flags this time, gold letters in a perforated pack from The Dollar Tree, and spray adhesive glue from Lowe’s to attach the letters.

Enjoy! What decorations are you rolling out for the Irish holiday?

Feelin Letters and Flags Adhesive Spray Glue for Bunting Banner

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky St Patricks Day Bunting Banner DIY Feeling Lucky St Patricks Day Shabby Chic Bunting Banner DIY

St Patty's Day Banner Quick
The St. Patty’s Day banner in the day time.
Banner St Pattys Day at Night
The full banner at night time.

 

Valentine’s Day: What to Wear in Cold Weather

Well, just when I thought I could start putting away the mittens and bringing out the fabric scarves for Spring, Texas went and changed it up on me… again.

Thank goodness the weather isn’t as bad as #icemageddon we had back in December.

Now, I don’t have any fancy-shmancy plans like most lovebirds this Valentine’s Day, but one of the girliest things my blog followers will learn about me in due time is that I love dressing up for holidays. Yep, I had an outfit planned for next Friday. Judge me.

But, with the weather, it looks like my sheer top and fabric-pink scarf will have to take the bench while I scour my winter essentials for a suitable outfit for the pink-and-red holiday.

What can look cute, girly, and a touch of sexy without compromising warmth? Here are the essentials I came up with:

Tights

Polka dot ones if we’re getting specific. But really, any tights can dress up an outfit this Valentine’s Day while simultaneously keeping your legs warm!

Polka Dot Tights from Nordstrom

These beauties are available from Nordstrom at only $11!

The next must-have is LAYERS. Layers is the best way to keep your “little black dress” incorporated into your Valentine’s Date outfit without having to compromise warmth for fashion. So, with your black dress under, the next cold-weather Valentine essential is:

A Red Coat

Red Coats for Valentine's Day

From Left to Right: Betsey Johnson Wool-Blend Bell-Sleeve Cape from Macy’s, $110; Wool-Blend Pea Coat from JcPenney’s, $60; Calvin Klein Belted Hooded Buckled Wool-Blend Coat from Macy’s, $113.

The best part about your red coat is that with different lengths, design, and accents, you can transform your look from business attire to dinner date in no-time.

Lastly, give your outfit a little extra “something” with a unique accessory, geared toward the romantic holiday:

Accessorize with Hearts

Warm Accessories for Valentine's Day

#1 – Cashmere Heart Scarf in Black or Red from Burberry, $225
#2 – Red and White Heart Infinity Scarf on Etsy, $18.10
#3 – Black and White Heart Infinity Scarf on Etsy, $20.50
#4 – Heart Knitted Headband on Etsy, $28
#5 – Crochet Pattern for Heart Headband on Etsy, $4.90
#6 – Crochet Heart Headband Ear Warmer on Etsy, $20
#7 – Fingerless Hand Knit Heart Gloves from South Moon Under, $28
#8 – Betsey Johnson Beading Heart Mittens from Zappos, $22
#9 – Heart Pattern Fluff Woolen Touch Gloves from Mini in the Box, $8

So, there you have it. A chic, fashionable outfit for Valentine’s Day, without having to freeze your buns off for the sake of the holiday. Hopefully this helps spark some ideas from your wardrobe!

What “must-have” items will be in your Valentine’s outfit this year?

DIY Halloween Wine Bottles Decor

It’s that time of year, folks! As September crept by, I began to see the rollout of Halloween decor in all my favorite stores. Of course I made the annual grumble, thinking, “It’s still 100+ degrees out, how the hey can I get in the mood to buy halloween stuff right now?!” But, truth be told, I love Halloween and fall decor. Fall has become one of my FAVORITE times of the year, and I love the pretty colors that go along with this season.

So, during this time, I wanted to try out a new DIY project I had pinned a while back:

Decorative Halloween Wine Bottles

(It should also be mentioned that I’m a bit of a wine-o, and I admittedly indulge in a glass or two of red wine each night.) I took inspiration from here, here, and here, and got to work.

Materials Needed:

  • 7 wine bottles

  • Large pot for soaking bottles 2 at a time

  • Tempera paint in: red, green, white, orange, and black

  • Brushes for painting: a wide brush for base coats, a small brush for details

  • Halloween-themed ribbon (or black tulle if you opt for that look)

  • Krylon gloss finishing spray

 

Directions:

Step 1: Take off the wine labels.

Like an amateur, I attempted to just peel off the label on my first go. Yeah, that doesn’t work too well. So, I Googled some ideas and finally opted for soaking my bottles in a pot of hot (but not boiling) water for 15 minutes at a time. I noticed that adding some dish soap helped for the extra pesky labels.

After soaking, use a butter knife to scrape off the wet labels. It’s ok if some residue from the glue does not come off, but keep in mind this will keep your bottle from having a completely smooth finish.

Empty Wine Bottles for DIY Project Soak Wine Bottles to Remove Wine Labels Soak Wine Bottles to Remove Wine Labels Wine Bottle Removed from Wine Label

Step 2: Paint!

I noticed that the inspiration photos seemed to have a spray paint base, but let’s face it, I’m a college student, and if there’s a way to save money but have the same overall effect, you better believe I’ll find it!

I opted to paint both the base coat background and my designs for the Halloween wine bottles with Tempera paint. Plus sides: Super cheap, dries extra quickly to make coating to faster. Down sides: Goes on thin, so will need plenty of coats, dries with a chalky finish (I found the remedy for this downside, keep reading to find out), and can crack or get air bubbles if you don’t wait for the coat to dry completely before coating again.

painted halloween wine bottles

 

Step 3: Spray with Finish and Top with a Bow.

Because I wasn’t a fan of the chalky finish, and I wanted to make sure my bottles would last more than one season, I went out to the craft store and picked up some gloss finishing spray from Krylon. This stuff is great, since you can use it on practically any surface, and it leaves a clear shine to whatever project you’ve completed. Best part? The store was having a buy 2 deal, so I picked up some chalkboard paint spray from Krylon as well (to use on other projects as seen here and here and here!).

I decided on a cute small ribbon with Halloween colors that would go with all the bottles. I’ve seen some pins where people opted for black tulle, or even spray painted burlap black for a BOO-rific shabby chic look. This is a fun way to change up your halloween wine bottles decor look each season by simply swapping out the ribbon!

diy Halloween painted wine bottles

Halloween painted wine bottles diy project

(Please ignore the Christmas PJ Pants… I obviously have my holidays a bit mixed up! 😛 )

So, what do you think? Have you dabbled in any budget decor for Halloween season? What’s your favorite upcycling technique with wine bottles?

Until Next Time…

DIY Sock Bun Tutorial

I don’t know about you, but I try to wash my hair every other day because of its oily-ness. My roots get oily, but my ends stay dry and brittle, especially if I over-wash. Unfortunately, wearing my hair down isn’t always an option, whether it’s because I’m on-the-go, don’t have time to do my hair, or am experiencing a case of “second-day hair.” When this happens, I turn to the sock bun.

I love a well-made sock bun, because while it takes just minutes to complete, it looks chic all day, and is work, school, restaurant, gym, bar-ready. It’s one of the most adaptable hairstyles depending on the occasion, and is easily accomplished in just 3 easy steps. See for yourself and learn how to perfect the sock bun in my Step-by-Step video:

Step-by-Step Video Tutorial for a DIY Sock Bun

 

Pictures and Written Instructions

In order to create your sock bun, you will need the following items:

DIYsockbunneededitems

 

To create the sock bun cushion, follow the steps provided at the beginning of the video. You will want to cut your sock as shown in the following picture:

cuttingsockforbun

The sock bun is so versatile, and can be achieved in three easy steps:

3 step sock bun

Step 1

Step 1 Put Hair in Ponytail

Step 2

roll bun with sock cushion

Step 3

 secure sock bun with pins

The Final Result

After these three simple steps, you should be left with a donut-shaped bun like this!

diy sock bun tutorial result

 

 

Let me know how it turned out for you, and what other hairstyle tutorials you would like to see! Stay tuned for more DIY tutorials to come! 🙂

 

DIY T-Shirt to Tank Tutorial

A Step-by-Step Guide to a New Workout Wardrobe Essential!

BEFORE: “Drab!”

 

AFTER: “Fab!”

Have a few old t-shirts laying around and don’t know what to do with them? If you’re a girl who likes to look good, work out, and not spend a fortune doing either, then this is a craft designed for you! These rugged-looking tanks are a hit at the gym, and can be made out of any jersey cotton t-shirt. They’re also a great bikini cover-up in the summer, as they cover you adequately but allow your body to breathe during that dreadful heat. Follow this step-by-step guide for a DIY (Do It Yourself) racerback tank, and turn that “DRAB” t-shirt into a “FAB” workout essential! Let’s get started:

For this craft you will need:

An old t-shirt to cut up
A pair of scissors

Step 1: Cut off the shirt’s collar. 

Follow the perimeter of the collar and cut just below the stitching. 

 

Step 2: Cut off the sleeves. 

How far in you go is up to you. Remember, the farther in you go, the smaller your tank’s straps will end up being. When you determine how far in you would like to cut, follow the curve of the sleeve’s stitching as an example.

When you finish cutting the first sleeve, fold the shirt in half and follow your first cut as a guide for the second sleeve in order to keep the tank symmetrical. 

Step 3: Cut off the t-shirts hem. 

Most t-shirts have a double hem at the bottom, giving them a clean finish. To achieve a more rugged look, cut off the hem completely, but be sure to save the scraps.

Step 4: Cut the loop. 

When you finish cutting the hem off, you should be left with a long, skinny loop. Using your scissors, cut the loop in order to create a long, ribbon-like string.

Step 5: Cut the stitches off the string. 

While stitches can give fabric a finished look, you will need to stretch this string later on, and the stitches will prevent you from doing so. Cut the string all the way down, being sure to cut closely to the stitch line. You can go ahead and put the stitched fabric in the scrap pile, but hang on to the folded fabric string.

Step 6: Stretch! 

This is a fun part. Using both hands, stretch out the string so it becomes thinner and begins to curl. Have fun with it! When you’re done you should end up with a long, slightly-rolled string. 

Step 7: Turn the back of the shirt into a “Racerback”. 

I love racerback tanks because they show off my shoulder blades, and essentially all of the hard work I’m doing to strengthen my upper-back muscles. To achieve this look, cut a “U” shape into the back, allowing it to expose more skin. Use your scrap from this as a guide to cut the other side the same way in order to keep your back symmetrical.

Step 8: Cut a V. 

In order to make skinny straps, you need to get rid of excess fabric. Cut a deep “V” into your racerback. The bigger your “V”, the skinnier your straps in the end. Try not to go past your mid back. 

Step 9: Wrap the V. 

Take the skinny, rolled rope you created earlier and tie a double knot around both of the “V” straps, about three fingers in from the top. Wrap the rope around the two straps over and over until you come to a few inches left of rope. You can double up on the wrapping in order to create a shorter “knot” in the back. When you finish wrapping, tie another double knot at the end. Cut off the excess rope strands at the top and bottom.

Step 10: Alterations. 

Do you prefer V-necks or U-necks? High-to-low hem, or hems with higher sides? Use this step to alter your shirt and give it your own flair. I created two shirts and gave them each a slightly different alter (finished products are down below on Step 12). In the example pictures below, I chose a high-sides hem. To do this, fold your shirt in half, and cut a diagonal line, starting low in the “middle” folds of the shirt and going higher as you get to the edges.

Step 11: Stretch some more! 

Take a look at your tank so far. It looks good, but it’s not finished just yet! Try on your tank, and let’s focus on getting those straps a little more long, lean, and loose. Pull down on your shirt from all sides in order to stretch it out a bit and add to the rugged, workout look. 

Step 12: Flaunt it. 

Do a happy dance, because you have just finished your DIY workout tank, and are now ready to go flaunt your thrifty attire at the nearest gym! Try your hand at a few more, and do something different each time. Try a different hemline, skinnier straps, a different neck cut, etc. Check out these two I completed in a matter of minutes!

Slightly lower U-neck line.
Medium-sized straps, high-sides hemline. 

 

Low U-neck line; High-to-low hemline.
Small straps, extra deep V-cut in back! Lookin’ good!

Hope you enjoy this 12-step guide! If you try it out, be sure to let me know! Post a picture link in a comment, or mention #ADashofSarah on a Twitter/Instagram pic! Good luck, stay healthy, and stay FABulous!

Is there anything else you’d like to see? Another DIY wardrobe guide? Another t-shirt alteration? Perhaps some home decor craft guides? Comment and let me know! 🙂

ADOSsig