DIY Notebook

Remember those stamps we made a few weeks back? Here’s how to use those to make an Anthro-esque notebook.

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Materials Needed:

1 stamp & ink

1 blank notebook, cost depends on size of notebook

1 gift tag or craft paper

The Process:

1. Decide what kind of design you want for your notebook based on what stamps you have available. I went with a tribal print using a stamp I made out of simple triangles.

2. Carefully stamp the entire front of your notebook. No worries if you make some mistakes since you can flip over your notebook and start fresh on the other side. You’ll be the only one to know.

3. When you’re finished stamping the notebook, take the gift tag and cover the back of it with glue before placing it on your notebook. I used glitter paper to cut out a gift tag but you could use regular craft paper or even cardstock.

4. Let the glue dry and then enjoy your new notebook!

DIY Drawer Pulls

A funny thing happened last fall. I dragged my dresser out to my front porch to spray paint it around 11 pm, pulling the door closed behind me. Then I remembered that the door was locked from the inside and both roommates were out of the state for the weekend. Panic ensued but luckily a friend had a spare key to let me in. Fortunately waiting on her to arrive at my house gave me some time to paint the dresser and more importantly, the knobs.

Materials Needed:

Wooden Knobs (sold in bags at Michaels), $5-10 depending on how many you need

Spray Paint ($3 at Wal-Mart)

Screws for when you’re all finished ($2-4 at Lowe’s or Home Depot)

The Process:

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1. Lay all of your knobs flat on a piece of cardboard or plastic to prevent paint from going everywhere.

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2. Spray the knobs as well as you can with the spray paint. My knobs were too round to cover perfectly well the first round. This is where spray paint comes in handy since it dries to the touch in 15 minutes or so.

3. Let the knobs dry for a few minutes and then add a second coat as needed.

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4. Allow the knobs to dry for several hours to ensure they’re completely dry. Add the knobs to your dresser and call it a day!

Notes:

+You can use regular paint and brush if you’d like. That’s what I did the first time I did this project. I didn’t like the way mine turned out and it took much longer to actually get every knob painted. Spray paint may be  messier but it’ll save you some valuable time.

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+ Another fun idea if you’re into the geometric look is to paint the knobs and cover half of each one with painters tape. Then paint the other side a funky color. Boom! Instant edginess for your dresser.

DIY Tote Bag

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Congratulations! You’ve discovered the easiest DIY idea around the block. So my dog Oliver travels a lot and didn’t have an appropriate bag for all of his accessories. After much debating about buying him a vintage Dooney and Bourke bag to fit in with all his hipster friends, it was decided that a handmade tote would do just the trick.

Materials Needed:

1 canvas tote bag (sold in packs of 3 at Michael’s for $10)

2 bottles of fabric paint ($2 each)

1 piece of cardboard or paper

1-2 paintbrushes

The Process:

1. Iron or smooth out any wrinkles in your tote bag. I threw mine in the dryer for a few minutes. After it’s smoothed out, slide your cardboard or paper inside to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

2. Draw your design on the bag. As with most things I make, a simpler design is usually easier and can lead to less disappointments later. I decided to go with Oliver’s signature look and freehanded his face and added a red bow tie below. If you’re not too keen on sketching a design, a simple geometric shape would look awesome. You can always look up outlines for things as well using the ol’ world wide web.

3. Once you have the outline drawn, jump in and get started painting. I made mistakes but fortunately the design prevented anyone but me from noticing it. It took two coats, with 10-15 minutes to dry in between.

4. Let your bag lay flat overnight and dry. After mine dried, I noticed some areas that needed to be filled in and also decided to outline Oliver’s bowtie in black.

5. Let the touchups dry.

6. Fill the bag with your heart’s desires and enjoy!

DIY Wooden Stamps

One day at Michael’s, I got mad. Like the kind of mad where you talk out loud to yourself in front of strangers and say regrettably ridiculous things. And it was all about stamps. I made the mistake of envisioning the perfect stamp inside of my head and daydreamed about how beautiful it would be dipped in my gold ink and stamped onto stationary. But Michael’s didn’t have that stamp and the next best option was close to $15. No! So I decided to make my own and haven’t gone back to that aisle since.

Materials to make 5-6 small to medium wooden stamps:

1 sheet of foam, any color ($1)

1 bag of whittling wood, any size ($6)

1 bottle of tacky glue or whatever you have on hand ($2)

1 X-Acto Knife or sharp scissors

The Process:

1. Decide what sort of stamp you’d like to make. I chose to make a North Carolina stamp, using this outline . I recommend going with a simpler shape since you’ll be cutting it out.

2. Cut a piece of foam the size of your block and glue it down evenly. It’s okay if it’s a little rough around the edges. This step allows the wood from being stained each time you dip it in ink, since foam is easier to wipe off than the wooden block.

3. While you’re waiting on the glue to dry a bit, go ahead and cut your shape out of foam and make sure it fits. Thankfully foam is fairly cheap because I cut out about 5 North Carolinas until I settled on one.

4. Glue your shape to the foam covered area of the wooden block and center it. Make sure the glue is evenly spread. It’s totally fine if it looks a little wonky or if the glue spills out around the edges of the shape because nobody but you will see it. Insider tip: when you’ve given the glue a few minutes to dry, act like you’re going to stamp something (without ink) and press your stamp down to ensure that the foam is level and there are no hidden globs of glue.

5. After the stamp dries, dip it in your favorite ink and mash it onto a piece of cardstock that you can then glue to the top of your stamp to identify it later. Another option is to simply write what your stamp is on top (on the wood).

6. Celebrate! Make stuff! Enjoy your new stamp.

 

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I made these gift tags for Christmas gifts. The “Merry Christmas” stamp is from the dollar section at Michael’s.