We Try It: DIY Laundry Detergent

I made my own powdered laundry detergent and it was not a disaster! I recommend it if you are bored — or maybe cheap.

Sometimes, the Internet gets into my brain and compels me to attempt A Project. I’m particularly susceptible to “efficient” or charming domestic capers like making my own Irish Soda Bread (such a bad idea!). When I give in and try DIY-ing, it often leaves me feeling annoyed that I’ve wasted time (or money, or resources) and that I’ve added to the usual clutter around my home. And then I spend a fruitless couple of days secretly resenting artistic and crunchy people for a while for having such beautiful, handcrafted lives. Read More We Try It: DIY Laundry Detergent

How to Make Washcloth Cupcakes

I have a good friend who is the perfect example of a “girly girl.” Her favorite patterns are floral, she loves the color pink (especially pale pink), and she loves frilly dresses. She is the definition of delicate and feminine. But when her birthday came along, I was clueless on what to get her. Giving gifts is not my strength, especially when it’s expected. Read More How to Make Washcloth Cupcakes

How to Make Magazine Wine Bags

Recently I’ve discovered several tutorials on how to make gift bags out of newspaper. I thought these bags would be a perfect way for me to waste my summer nights as the holiday season approaches.

I’ve always been a big fan of recycling and buying bags or notebooks made out of recycled materials, so the DIY projects made sense. The best tutorial I found is from the site “How About Orange.” The tutorial has very structured steps to make tiny little newspaper bags. So I modified the steps and created magazine wine bags.

Now that I’m a legal drinking citizen, what better way to recycle my fashion magazines, which I’ve stored since 2008, than to make wine bags? They are sophisticated, fun, and environmentally friendly. For a friend you can buy a cheap bottle of wine and give a handmade bag – it’s a win-win. I’m not trying to sell this tutorial, I’m just excited that I created something and I’m proud. I hope you take a few minutes to try my tutorial and tell me what you think. It takes a little time and some patience. But in the end, recipients of these wine bags will be so delighted to have wine and a topic starter (your bag!).

So prepare yourself, because you might have to get use to hearing that you are exceptionally crafty, ingenious, creative, resourceful, and environmentally conscious. This project should take you about 15 minutes the first time, but after your first bag, it will be quicker. The bags will be 9.5” tall, 5 ” wide, and 3.5″ deep. If you complete this craft and want to revel in your success, please let me know how it went. Modifications are always welcome! I know friends and family will love these; mine sure did. Just follow these nine steps and enjoy!

Materials Needed:

  • Old magazines (you can use covers or the pages)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape and Glue sticks
  • Pen
  • Card-stock/ Cardboard
  • Hemp twine (you may use ribbon, rope, etc)
  • Single Hole Punch

Steps to success:

1. Take two sheets of magazine pages (or the front & back cover). Attach the sheets with tape. This should measure about 17.5″ in width. If you opt to using magazine pages (I did this), you will need to double layer your pages (glue is the best way) to reinforce the bag.

2. You will need to take two more magazine page and cut it in half. These halves will be attached to the top of the already-attached pages, giving you a larger surface area. You have four pieces because you need two layers of paper for bag thickness, so glue the edges together. The height of the bag should be 14.5″. So now you will have a surface area of 17.5″ x 14.5″.

3. Next you will measure 1.5″ from the top and fold making a flap. Then at the bottom of the large rectangle, measure 2″and make a fold.

4. Now you need to take the rectangle and fold it in half. Then measure across from left to right: 5″/3.5″/5″/3.5″/0.5″. These will establish the width and depth of your bag. Once you’ve measured, make fold creases at each measurement going down. After these steps you may add pieces of cardboard/card-stock just below your 1.5″ flaps for reinforcement, because this is where your handles will go. But be sure to glue down your 1.5″ flaps before you move on to Step #5.

5. Glue the 0.5″ flap to the 5″ section. This is important because this is what brings the whole bag together!

6. Now you need to refold the bottom 2″ flap; the creases need to be deep so you can get to Step #7.

7. Reshape into the tube-like shape. Then take the bottom flap, folding it in like a present. Attach with tape at the bottom and on the inside. Cut a piece of cardboard/card-stock to fit the bottom of the bag for more reinforcement. Glue the cardboard/card-stock inside the bag.

8. Position the bag upright and punch two holes on the rim of the bag. String the hemp twine through the holes to form handles. Finally, tie tight knots at the end of the twine on the inside to secure the handles.

9. Then fold in the sides and pinch the top together to give your bag the “gift bag shape.” That’s it! You now have a wine gift bag, and you finally put your old magazines to good use!

The Lazy Lady’s Guide to DIY: Upcycling Fugly Furniture

My name is Allie, and I love to make things. I am also cheap, lazy, and have the ability to injure myself with safety scissors. So when I say that if I can do this, anyone can, I mean it. In this first of many craftacular adventures, I’m going to show you how to paint and re-cover chairs. Read More The Lazy Lady’s Guide to DIY: Upcycling Fugly Furniture

Wanna-be Banksy

I am pretty much exactly like Banksy, minus the artistic vision, the huge fan base and gigantic amount of nerve it takes to do what he does. Okay, I’m really nothing like Banksy, but I really, really love spray painting things. That counts for something, right? Read More Wanna-be Banksy

The Cuteness Will Be Epic

It felt like I looked everywhere for flower girl outfits. Online, the mall, boutiques, thrift stores, everywhere. Everything was just too freaking  frilly, too expensive, just too much. Nothing matched the idea in my head of what I wanted them to wear. This will be a running theme you will notice with me, the impetus for all my DIY- I can’t find items that match up with my brain’s desires. Enter the tutu tutorial…

Read More The Cuteness Will Be Epic

They’re all gonna laugh at you”¦

When I told people that the main decorations at our wedding were going to be tissue paper poofs, the false enthusiasm I was met with was painfully, brutally transparent.
Read More They’re all gonna laugh at you”¦

Etsy Christmas Ornaments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Originally, I was trolling Etsy for winter holiday decorations of all kinds, but after wading through thousands upon thousands of offerings (most of them very good, I must add), I realized that whenever I came across something that made me spontaneously giggle or retch or roll my eyes, it was a Christmas tree ornament. So without further ado, the best and the worst of what Etsy wants Christmas revelers to hang on their trees this year: Read More Etsy Christmas Ornaments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly