My First IKEA Hack: Building Myself a Desk

I am really proud of this new desk, which was fairly simple to make and only required 2 Lack tables, a hack saw and mitre box, and some wood glue.

We have a very small apartment, but since we’ve been spending much more time at home, I’ve missed having an actual desk area (especially because I repurposed the little built in vanity area as a coffee bar, which I don’t regret). I thought I could replace my nightstand with a small table.

Normally, I would just go thrift shopping for such an item, but since that’s not really an option right now I decided to order two of these IKEA tables and create my own desk.

First, I measured how high I wanted the desk. Then I marked off one set of legs, cut the excess, glued the cut portion to the second set of legs, attached the legs to the table, and voila!

There was a little seam where the legs were joined, and I just covered that up with two lines of washi tape to make it look more decorative.

Since the legs were hollow, I took the unused portion and made them into utensil holders.

Have you hacked a piece of IKEA furniture? Is there a creative way you’ve found to make your space work better for you right now? Let me know in the comments!

DIY Crayons or What to Do With All Those Broken Bits


I have a really easy DIY project that you can do with kids or use to make favors for parties; there’s all sorts of possibilities. It couldn’t be easier, though it does take a few broken crayons and a little patience (not much though, I promise).

You’ll need:

  • crayon bits (which if you color at all, I bet you have these around…)
  • a knife and cutting board
  • a mold like a mini cupcake pan–metal will clean up easiest


First, cut your crayons into small bits.

Preheat your oven to the lowest setting (for me that was 170F).

Combine your crayon colors any way you like (sky/sunset colors, primaries, shades of one color) in the oven-safe molds. (I used a non oven-safe silicon mold and it sort of died, so be  cautious when using silicon ice cube molds unless you don’t care if you can ever use them again).

Put your molds in the oven (if they’re small, you can place them on a cookie sheet first) and let the wax melt. This takes about 20-40 minutes, depending on how large the wax pieces are, the colors used, and so on. But basically when everything’s melted, it’s time for them to come out.

Let the new crayons cool completely before attempting to remove them (this is where the patience comes in. They’ll still come out if they’re warmish, but they’ll break–trust me.)

If they don’t pop right out, you can throw them in the freezer  for up to an hour and they should come out more easily.

Now you can color something with your multicolor crayons!


What’s your favorite thing to draw or color or do with crayons? Let me know in the comments!


How To Make Your Own Envelopes Without a Template


Since getting engaged at the end of January, a lot of my free time has been moving over to wedding planning rather than blogging. I’m still reading a lot of books, but I’m not finding quite as much time to sit down and write posts. Since I haven’t done a DIY post in a long time, I thought I would share this fun one.

I used these envelopes to hold the letters asking my brother and my two best friends to stand up with me in my bridal party, but you could use them for anything! This tutorial works best if you don’t have to accommodate a particular sized card/piece of paper. Unless you want to do a bunch of measuring, my advice would be to fit your letter to the envelope.

These are so much fun, require basically no supplies and make any piece of mail look much more special.

You’ll need:

  • One piece of paper of your choice, standard 8.5×11 size (you could also use a piece of 12×12 scrapbooking paper, but it might need some trimming). It’s helpful to get a piece that’s fairly bendable because then your mail won’t require extra postage. If it’s too stiff, there’ll be a non-machinable surcharge.
  • A small coordinating piece of paper for the label if you can’t/don’t want to write directly on the paper.
  • Scissors
  • Corner trim punch (optional)
  • A good strong craft glue–I like Scotch brand’s Quick-Dry Adhesive, which you can find at pretty much any craft store.


Fold the paper into approximate thirds with one smaller section. You can measure this, but I prefer eyeballing it. The smallest section becomes your envelope flap, so it can be as small/large as you like. Once you have everything the way you want it, go over the crease with your nails or a ruler or a bone folder.

Cut small slits (1/2 inch or less) where the thirds folds are towards the center. Trim small triangles off from the end of the slit to the edge of the paper, so that the it’s easier to fold.


Trim the flap section so that the flap ends where the slits do. (a section about 1/2 inch x 2 inches, depending on the size of your flap.

Fold the edges inward on the top and bottoms of both sides and crease sharply.

Using your strong craft glue, run a generous line of glue on both sides and hold together until the glue has bonded.

Fill with whatever messages you’d like to send and seal with more glue when you’re ready.

Address the envelope and it’s ready to make it’s way out into the world!


Have you ever made your own envelopes before? What did you send in them? Let me know in the comments!


DIY Wrapping: Dictionary Page Garland


Most of us understand the appeal of pretty ribbon near the holidays, but stocking up on ribbon can have its downsides. Unless you find it on clearance, ribbon can be pretty expensive and the holiday ones don’t have a lot of yardage, making it necessary to buy lots and lots of ribbon to make a present feel special.

This DIY helps save money and gives a personal touch. It’s perfect for the reader in your life, but its elegant simplicity makes it great for everyone on your list.


All you need is:

  • an old book (I used an old dictionary that’s falling apart, but you can use any book–try the clearance bin outside used bookstores or visit a thrift shop)
  • craft glue
  • raffia or twine (I like the raffia because it’s thin and that makes it easy to adhere the small shapes onto)
  • punches (You can find punches at the craft store– I find that they’re almost always 40% off, but you can use a coupon if they’re not on sale. If you don’t want to invest in punches, try cutting easier shapes by hand like triangles, squares, or hearts)

Measure out the length of raffia you need (or you can do the whole spool and wrap it back up). Decide if you want a single or double strand when you wrap the present.

Use the punches to punch out a bunch of shapes. Cut more than you think you’ll need as you’ll have to use two for each part of the garland. I chose to do mine in an alternating pattern, but you can make any pattern you want and cut your shapes accordingly. If you only have one punch, you can create more visual interest by varying the spacing between shapes.


Glue the two circles (or other fancy shapes) together, sandwiching the raffia between them, leaving about three or four inches near the end so you can tie it. I found that only one shape needed the glue as long as the glue was spread along the edges with some in the middle.

Repeat this process until the entire garland is complete.



Wrap your present! You can’t really make a bow at the top like you can with regular ribbon, so it’s better to tie on a tag (I’ll be linking my calligraphy tags on Etsy later in the week) or a trinket and call it a day.


Don’t want to let your garland out of your sight? Use it to decorate your tree or your house for the holidays. A pretty garland is always useful to have around, and it makes a present that much more special.

What’s your favorite way to decorate for the holidays?

DIY: Quidditch Letterman’s Jacket Cardigan


Last week I showed you how to make the Snitch earrings that I’m wearing as part of my outfit for my cousin’s bat mitzvah.

Because the theme of the evening is pajamas and jerseys, I thought this fantasy inspired sports look would both fit the theme and be a bit more of a costume, since the party is the day after Halloween (and since we’re flying down on Halloween, I don’t get to dress up. And I NEED to dress up). Since Paul was and is convinced that a jersey needs numbers on the back, I decided to make this jacket to go with it.


This is the shirt I’m wearing, which I got here from Etsy shop topsfreeday.

I’ve never had a letterman’s jacket, despite the fact that I lettered in Speech and Debate in high school (I know, such a nerd). The jackets cost over two hundred dollars, and since I wasn’t staying on the debate team, I didn’t think it was worth it. This DIY will cost you less than ten dollars, and is less bulky and way cute.

This cardigan/sweater redo is perfect for pretty much anything: from showing a little team spirit, to revitalizing one of your favorite cardigans (if you just do the ribbon trim), to being part of a great Halloween costume (think something like a poodle skirt with a letterman’s jacket slung around your shoulders, or dress up like a sports star). The point is, this cardigan remake has something for everyone, and you should make it. Right now.

It’s also super simple.

You’ll need:

  • Three sheets of felt in different but coordinating colors (the colors of whatever team you’re representing). I used a burgundy, red, and yellow combo to represent Gryffindor’s colors. If you want to put a name on the jersey too, feel free, but get extra felt.
  • cardstock to make your templates
  • a ruler
  • a marker (permanent or otherwise)
  • coordinating ribbon
  • hot glue
  • fabric glue


First you’ll need to make your templates. I drew mine freehand, but you can always print yours out onto card stock and then cut them out. Bear in mind that since you’re layering the felt, the numbers will come out about half an inch larger on all sides.

I chose the number seven to represent Harry Potter (seven books/seven years/seven horcruxes/seven is the most magically powerful number), but of course any number will do.

Trace your stencil onto your felt with the stencils backwards. That way, once you cut them out you can turn the numbers over and not have any marks.


Using your hot glue, glue the first number right side up onto the second layer and cut a thin border around the number. Repeat with the next layer, but with a thicker border.

Center the numbers to your liking onto the cardigan and use the hot glue to adhere them.


Next work on the ribbon trim. You don’t have to measure and cut anything unless you’re trimming pockets like I did, you can just sort of unwind the ribbon as you go.

Glue the ribbon on either using hot glue or fabric glue* just beyond the buttons (no one want to mess with the buttons) all the way around the cardigan. You’ll want to lay the sweater out flat while you do this and give everything ample time to dry if you’re using fabric glue. This could take up to two hours.


Enjoy your newly revamped cardigan!

*a note on glue: The kind of glue you use depends largely on the materials you’re using and how often you’re planning on wearing the garment. If this is a project for Halloween or a costume party and you’re only planning on wearing it a couple times, go ahead and use the hot glue for the whole thing like I did.

I highly recommend using fabric glue if you’re planning on washing and wearing your cardigan a lot and are just going to trim it in the ribbon to give it a new look. Fabric glue is normally washable and though it takes a long time to dry, it’s particularly good for thinner knits and ribbons where the hot glue would cause puckering. It’s worth the time investment and looks more professional.

If you’re not a hot glue person at all, you can use a tacky glue for the felt, but be warned that it needs a lot of saturation and will take quite a while to dry. I still find that when it dries it doesn’t hold together very well, but if you’re only wearing it for a night, that’s probably not a problem. Using hot glue is the way to go with felt in my opinion, but if you really don’t want to you could always sew the felt, which is a great option if you plan on wearing the sweater often (like for spirit days or to games or whatever).

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?

Golden Snitch Earrings DIY


In a little less than two weeks it’ll be my cousin’s bat mitzvah. We’re flying down to Los Angeles to celebrate with her, and part of this celebration will be done in themed attire. A lot of kids her age do a big dance with all their friends and all their parents friends, and S. is no different. However, instead of dressing up in semi-formal attire, she decided to have everyone come in pajamas and jerseys. Since I’m not sure that people who are out of high school should be wearing pajamas to a party like that (walking a fine line between being too sexy and too childish), I decided to wear a jersey. But let’s face it, I’m not one for team sports. I support the Yankees (my grandfather being a New Yorker), but don’t watch the games with any regularity and I haven’t played a team sport since middle school.

With all this in mind, I wanted to go in something a little more fun. So being a huge nerd, I bought a great Harry Potter inspired quidditch jersey, and I’ll be showing you a couple DIYs I’m doing to finish my outfit.

First up are these golden snitch earrings. These would really be perfect for any occasion–let’s be honest–but are great for this time of year since Halloween is right around the corner.

These turned out even better than I thought they would. They look great, and I love the way they move. This is a really simple DIY, and there’s lots of opportunity to get them to look exactly the way you want them before anything is finalized.

You’ll need:


  • gold sculpey
  • dangling earring findings
  • flat bottomed pins
  • pliers
  • craft glue (optional)
  • something to give the wings texture–I used a dime

First you’ll need to take a small amount of clay and make two spheres as close in size as you can.


Gently push these balls down the pin until they’re resting at the bottom.


Take an even smaller bit of clay and roll it into a snake about the length you want the wings to be. Squish this with your finger and add texture with the tool of your choice. Then you can use a needle or something to shape them the way you want. I really liked using a dime for this because of the added texture, but you can use a needle or pin or toothpick or clay tool–whatever you have on hand.

Carefully take the wings and attach them to the back of the ball, smoothing down the clay.


Bake at 275F for about twenty minutes, depending on the size of your snitches.

When the clay has cooled, thread your dangling earring attachment thing onto the metal rod. Take your pliers about halfway down the exposed metal wire and bend so that the end of the wire goes through the hole. You can dab some glue on the end for more stability, but mine didn’t need it. You could also twist the wire into place. Before you finalize the earring, make sure everything is facing the right way and looks the way you want it.


And there you have it: snitch earrings.

If you played a position on a Hogwarts house quidditch team, which position would you play?