My Little Library

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This is my library, for my neighborhood, by my mailbox in the front yard.  The idea is simple: you take a book or you can leave a book.  My job as the stewardess is to keep it organized and stocked with reading materials for all ages and interest groups.  Even though I promised to help, my handy husband did all the work.  He researched and designed the library, built and painted the library and he spent an entire day digging and cementing the foundation for the library.  Since everything is a family affair, we asked the kids to join in too.  They helped fill the library with books.

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This idea isn’t mine to take credit for. There is an organization called Little Free Library. The inspiration came from “Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, (who) built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading.  He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.  His neighbors and friends loved it.  He built several more and gave them away.  Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.”  Together Tod and Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of  goals for the common good.”

The website offers free building plans, DIY prefabricated library kits and a map of all the registered Little Free Libraries across the States.  Additional information on how to get involved, their blog and uniquely inspiring stories and libraries is also available.

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What a wonderful way to give back to the neighborhood and promote literacy!  We hope to see lots of neighbors stopping by to grab a book.

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Happy Father’s Day

I don’t know about you but the men in my life have everything. They buy all the tools and toys they want and the rest of the list is too rich for my blood!

This Father’s Day, I made some fun care packages for the father figures in my life. I found this tutorial on Marvelousmommy.com with free printable files.  Lucky for me, my sister has a Silhouette machine so  it made everything easy peasy.

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If you don’t have one of these fancy pants machine you can use the files available at Marvelousmommy.com or buy something like these at your local craft store:

I stuffed the bags with favorite candies, gift cards and lottery scratchers.  The possibilities are endless!  Happy Father’s Day!image-2

Guest Post by Little Pixie Crafts – Easy Hair Tie Tutorial

Season’s greetings Skip to the Details readers! My name is Karisa & I am the designer and owner of Little Pixie Crafts on Etsy. I have a quick and easy elastic hair tie tutorial for you that makes for a great stocking stuffer for friends and family. Here are the supplies that you’re going to need:

5/8 inch fold over elastic in any color or pattern. You can get this at a craft store or find it on Etsy sold in larger quantities.
Cutting mat or something to measure with
Scissors or rotary cutter
A lighter

Lay your elastic out flat, measure it 9 inches long and cut. I prefer to use a cutting mat and a rotary cutter because the measurements are visible on a flat surface and I can just run my blade across the elastic. Cutting mats and rotary cutters are an excellent investment and make cutting projects much easier!
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Once your elastic is cut, wrap it around your fingers and tie the ends in a tight knot. To keep the elastic from fraying I like to hold a lighter about an inch away from the knotted end to seal off the elastic. Be very careful not to hold it there to long because your elastic could catch on fire or melt too far down. This step is optional, if you don’t mind a little fraying you can just leave the ends alone. 

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Finally, find a cute way to wrap up or package your finished hair ties. I took some brown card stock and cut it with a scallop paper punch, put a couple of holes in it and tied my elastics down with string. What I love most about this project is you can customize the quantity, color or pattern! If you aren’t the crafty type or you’re short on time, check out my Etsy shop to purchase a set of these elastic ties already made and packaged. ImageImage

 

Invitation Ornament Tutorial

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I wanted to make my sister and her new husband a small trinket to commemorate their recent nuptials.  This wedding invitation ornament was made in less than 30 minutes and cost me roughly $2!

Here’s what you’ll need:

The invitation
Clear ornament (mine was $3.99 and 60% off at the local craft store)
Scissors
Coordinating ribbon
1. Cut the invitation into thin strips.  Image
2. Using a regular pen, curl the strips around the pen.  I made some curls tighter than others just for variation. Image
3. Remove the cap from the ornament.  Place the curled strips into the ornament.  Place the cap back on the ornament. Image
4. Add a bow to the ornament. Image
Voila! A personalized ornament for the newlyweds!  Hope they like it!

DIY Bike Chain Picture Frame

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Guess how much this gift cost me. Nothing! It was free thanks to my local REI.  I went to the store with the intention of buying the cheapest bike chain available. After explaining my project to the bike mechanic, he reached towards a wall of old dirty chains and offered me various sizes that would fit my frame. He cleaned up two chains for me and sent me on my way, free of charge. Turns out REI keeps old broken chains to repair broken links, resell at discounted prices or for DIY projects like mine! I’m sure you can check your local bike shops for the same deal.

So here is a list of what you need:
Picture frame
Bike chain that will fit the border of the frame
Super glue
Photo

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I gave my chain a scrubbing with simple green (non-toxic cleaner, safe for pregnant women like me!). Placed it around the frame and glued it down every few links to make sure it wasn’t going to slip off since the chain is a little heavy. Insert photo and wrap it up! This would be a great gift for the avid cyclist or the casual bike lover in your life.

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DIY Boot Socks From An Old Sweater

Today I want to share my version of DIY boot socks from an old sweater.  These cute ruffly socks can run anywhere from $20+ at various local stores and Etsy.  I made a pair for roughly $7 with leftover lace for additional pairs.

You will need the following supplies:

An old sweater with sleeves that will fit over your calves.  When looking through your closet or at the local thrift store, make sure to check the sleeves, this is a very important detail.

Coordinating lace (I bought two yards because it was on sale but you only need about 1/4 yard)

Coordinating Buttons (optional)

Scissors

Needles and thread

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1. Cut the sleeves off around the armpit area. You can always trim the sleeve to make them shorter if they are too long for your calves.

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2. To keep the cut raw edge from fraying, fold the fabric over twice and sew ImageImage

3. I cheated on this next step and used my sewing machine.  But if you don’t have one, you can easily sew the lace to the cuff of the sleeve.

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4. Add buttons or additional embellishments

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5. And you’re done! New boot socks from an old sweater in 4 simple steps.  These would be great for yourself or as stocking stuffers for the holidays!

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Oh!  And every once in a while you will stumble upon a sweater that already has the perfect sleeves to be revamped to boot socks!

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DIY Toddler Play Tent

Even though Fall is in full swing in Sacramento, today’s post is about a DIY project my husband did over the summer. Inspired by various tepees and tents I was obsessed with on Pinterest, my husband set out to build my son and I our very own! (Yes, my son has to share with me. I think I enjoy using it more than he does!)

My husband built the structural frame and I made the cover. We make a great team! We hope to have some tents up on our Etsy site, Wandering Star Designs, soon. In the meantime, feel free to contact me here for prices and details!

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