starburstmirror-pbAs any one of my friends can tell you, I’m pretty thrifty. I’ve never met a garage sale I didn’t like, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I love walking through the dollar store looking for things to craft with. The DIY website Dollar Store Crafts has tons of low-cost and cute craft ideas, but what I really love is the High Concept section where it shows you how to make high-style art for cheap. I found this tutorial for a retro mirrored wall hanging inspired by a $450 Pottery Barn piece. It’s pretty impressive and costs under $10 to make.

4-inch-xstitch-kit-AWow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Project of Doom, I need to keep up!

I’ve made it abundantly clear that I absolutely hate factory-made cross-stitch patterns, so I thought I’d try my hand at making some up for myself! The Craftease Etsy shop will soon be selling DIY Cross-stitch kits, complete with fabric, DMC thread, a needle, and even a vintage hoop for hanging. All of the patterns are designed by yours truly and will feature such weird and wonderful things such as 3-D glasses (pictured), cute zombie animals, meat and organs, just to name a few. All of the patterns are super-simple and can be customized with your own colors. I’m even going to put together a few X-stitch alphabets to give your finished piece a personalized touch. If you’re feeling lazy, I’ll also be selling the finished cross-stitched pieces so you can display all of the cute without doing any of the work.  Be on the lookout for my kits in the next few weeks!

headboardI’ve always been pretty minimalistic when it comes to decorating my bedroom. All of my artwork usually ends up in the living room or other parts of the apartment, and by the time I get to the bedroom there’s nothing left. Now that I’m living with the lovely Ms. Em and Jess, my bedroom has become like a womb to me – a little cave in which I can retreat to to work on projects, watch movies, or just chill. We have 3 artists in the house, so the common areas are fairly well covered in arty goodness, but to my absolute joy, every wall in my bedroom is decorated floor-to-ceiling with all of my favorite things.

Every wall, that is, but one: the wall above my bed.

I’ve never had a headboard but I’ve always wanted one. I’ve gone back and forth about buying one, but it’s always seemed like a completely superfluous purchace, because really, no one needs a headboard, they’re just really pretty and to quote the Dude, they really bring a room together. I’ve finally come up with the perfect design that’s not only easy to make, it’s relatively cheap to do, which appeases the Frugal Monster in my head.

** NOTE: This headboard is a work-in-progress for me, so I don’t have completed pictures yet, but once I do I’ll post them up so you can see the finished product.

You Will Need:

– 5 rectangular artist’s canvases of the same size (I used 10″ x 60″ pieces – bigger is better)

** if you want to make your boards a custom size, make a frame out of 2×2 wood pieces and cover them with canvas.

– 5 colors of paint (more is better – you do not want to run out midway. For a 10″ x 60″ piece, I would get a quart of paint per color just to make sure I’ll have enough)

– picture hanging hardware (get this at any big box store in the hardware section)

Paint the canvases and let dry. I would recommend at least 2 or 3 coats to make sure your colors are really vibrant. Open up your hanging hardware and screw the eye bolts into the top 2 corners of each painting. Wrap the wire securely around the eye bolts, keeping the wire as taut as you can – when you hang these, you do not want to see the wire at the tops of the paintings. On the wall, measure out your nail holes. You’ll want to use 2 nails per canvas and you’ll want to leave about 2″ of horizontal space between the canvases, with about 12″ of space between the bottom of the bed and the bottom of the lowest canvas. For mine, I measured 13″ vertically and 36″ horizontally. Make sure everything is level or the end result will look lopsided. Hammer your nails and hang the canvases in the right order, and you’re done!

candleThis week’s DIY project comes from one of my new favorite websites, Design*Sponge. They have gorgeous pictures and posts of all sorts of loveliness, and they update it with tons of new stuff daily. The blog has been around for years, so their archive is practically endless, and they have a ton of DIY projects for the at-home crafter. This project looks adorable and it’s one of many great ways to reuse cute Altoids tins. You could do this with any metal container, just be sure to put it on a heat-proof surface when lit. Find out how to make this cute project HERE.

A few weeks ago, the lovely Ms. E.W. and I were in our favorite local art store looking for supplies for the upcoming art fair we’re participating in. We were wandering around the store looking at canvas when I happened upon what might become the new favorite craft project among us: at-home screenprinting. The Speedball Original Screenprinting kit comes with everything you need to start screenprinting on any solid flat surface you can think of – paper, boxes, wood, even picture frames. It comes with ink, screens, tracing paper, tools, and the oh-so-important instructions that make it incredibly easy to use. Speedball also has an Ultimate kit that gives you more screens and tools, as well as an instructional DVD, and a Fabric screenprinting kit, but for a beginner that has never entered the world of screenprinting, the Original kit is perfect.

instructables-logoMy friends and I are a crafty bunch. There’s not a lot that we can’t make using our brains, some glue, and a few curse words. We have a hard time going shopping in certain places, especially to shops that pride themselves on being “unique” or “indie” (I’m looking at you, Urban Outfitters).  If you’re like us and you’ve ever seen something in a store and said to yourself, “Pfft. I could make that if I wanted to!” I guarantee you will fall in love with Instructables. This site has instructions on how to make just about ANYTHING, from easy craft projects to a fully functional electric car. You could spend days on this site finding new projects for yourself. All you need for most projects is a few basic tools, materials (most of which can be found at any hardware store or Radio Shack if they’re not already lying around your house), and some basic skill. Every project comes with full instructions, pictures and helpful advice. There’s even an “Answers” box where you can type in a question and the Instructables gurus will help you figure it out. They update the site on a daily basis, which gives you even more incentive to check it out often. If you’re trying to live on the cheap, if you like to resuse or upcycle things, you need a new project for your house/apartment, or if you’ve just ever wondered to yourself, “I wonder if I could really make that?”, you need to bookmark this site.

suncatchersAhh, spring. I don’t think anything can beat the feeling of walking out of your house without a jacket for the first time in 6 months. Here in Minnesota we always act like this is the first springtime we’ve ever experienced – as soon as the temperature goes above freezing, people flock to the outdoors, some wearing much less clothing than what would normally be appropriate in 40 degree weather. To celebrate the newfound warmth, I’ve decided to post a quick and easy DIY project that will get you in the mood for the coming months. These look best if you put a few of them next to each other. All you need for this are:

– highlighters or water-soluble markers

– scissors/knife/Exacto

– pliers

– paper towels

– clear jars or bottles with lids (if you don’t have fancy little jars like the ones pictured, anything will work as long as it has a lid)

– water

Fill the jars or bottles most of the way full with water and set aside. Now the fun part: take apart the markers by removing one of the ends. I recommend using a pair of pliers for this as the endcaps can be tricky. I also recommend having some paper towels handy, as you are dealing with markers. Remove the inky tubes inside and place on the paper towel. Depending on the size of the jar, you may need to cut the tubes to fit. Place the tubes in the desired jars (one color per jar unless you’re feeling adventurous) and wait. In a few seconds, you’ll see delightful little swirls of color soming from the ends of the tubes. This is exactly what we want to happen. Cap the jars and lt them sit for a day or two, swirling periodically to mix the color. After a day or two, remove the tubes if you like (I chose to leave mine in but it’s not necessary) and sit on a sunny windowsill. Voila – instant suncatchers!

** Bonus points: wrap wire or string around the tops of the jars securely and hang them in front of a window (again, securely – you do NOT want these to fall and open up) for a fancy hanging suncatcher!