Chi-Town & The Big Apple

   This was a wedding gift for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  My brother-in-law is from New York and my sister-in-law is from Chicago.  She moved to New York, they met, they fell in love, they got married…

ImageI went online and googled state outlines for New York and Illinois.  After I sized them in Microsoft Word, I printed them onto card stock.  I used an X-Acto knife to cut them out and then outlined them using a sharpie.  I then glued the states onto a sheet of parchment paper.  I used sage but this comes in a variety of colors.  I added little hearts to the exact place where they lived and then wrote there names on the bottom.  I bought the frame at Michaels.  This project makes a great personalized shower or wedding gift for a couple from different states or even countries.

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Where in the World?

I am a wanderlust.  I love to travel anywhere and everywhere.  I can’t get enough of it.  Some people collect cars.  Some people collect coins.  I collect experiences.  I collect stamps in my passport.  I collect pins on my map. I would much rather do something than have something.  For every birthday, anniversary, Christmas, etc. my husband always asks what I want.  My answer is always the same… I don’t want a physical present.  Sure gifts are great but I’d rather have an experience.  A trip (near or far), a broadway show, a day spent together doing anything really.

Anyway back to travel.  We have gotten to see some pretty awesome places on this earth and a lot of my DIY inspirations are because of our travels.  This project was super easy and it’s always fun to add another pin to our map.

ImageMaterials: bulletin board, acrylic paint, map, pins, card stock

I painted the bulletin board white and then sponged on a little tan to make it look a little aged since the map is a vintage style.  After the paint is dry, just staple the map to the bulletin board.

I printed the title on card stock and then burned the edges to make it look a little bit aged.  (I recommend doing this close to a sink just in case.  The paper can burn very quickly…we don’t want any accidents.)

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Now you’re ready to start adding pins to your map.  The blue are domestic travels and the red are international.  You can use any colors you like.

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Happy pinning!

DIY Alcohol Ink Coasters

I saw the inspiration for these coasters on Pinterest.  They sort of remind me of tie dye (I love all things tie dye) so I had to try them out.

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Materials: ceramic tiles, alcohol ink ( I used Adirondack which can be found at any craft store), Alcohol Blending Solution (or rubbing alcohol will work), Alcohol Ink Mixative Gold & Silver, alcohol ink aplicator, paintbrush, paint, Modge Podge, aerosol finishing spray, felt pads for the bottom

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Of course Daisy has to check out everything that I’m doing…so she’s sure to sneak in to some of my photos.

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Instructions: 

~ Start by dripping little spots of ink onto your tile.  The colors might start to blend together. Keep adding more color, until you have covered your surface completely. You can play around with different color combos.  I tried a few different ones to see how they would come out.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Allow the ink to slide around before adding your next color.

~Add a few drops of either the silver or gold mixative (or get crazy and add both!) Remember there are no mistakes…you can always go back and use the alcohol to get rid of anything you’re not happy with.

~ Next, add a few drops of the alcohol solution or rubbing alcohol to the felt on your applicator.  Now this is the fun part! Start pressing the applicator to different spots on the tile and watch how the ink reacts.  Continue doing this until you are happy with the results.

~Use a paintbrush and some acrylic paint to paint the sides of the tile.  This will cover up any drips you may have from the ink.

~Let everything dry and now you are ready to add any quotes, pictures, stamps, etc.  I just printed some quotes onto regular copy paper about the beach and ocean (you know I’m a beach bum)  I used Modge Podge (aka godsend to DIYers) to attach the paper to the coasters.

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~Once your Modge Podge is dry, spray your tiles with varnish in a well ventilated area to seal.  I sprayed mine out on the deck and left them to dry.  Of course you should make sure it’s not supposed to rain when you do this…I of course did not.  The paper on one of the coaster has a little bit of a bubble, but hey you get the idea.

~After your varnish has dried, put the felt pads on the back and enjoy!

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The Finished Product

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And there you have it…

These could make an awesome addition to a housewarming gift basket with maybe a bottle of wine and some wine glasses.  (My obsession with theme gift baskets will have to be saved for another post.)

Happy creating!