Yarn Nail Art Pallet Sign Arrow

My husband and I throw an annual party called the Jean Short Jamboree.

Basically, we have all our friends over and require that they wear jean shorts. We encourage silly outfits and give out a prize for our best dressed party goer.

We created a giant pallet sign that we set out front:

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Making a pallet sign is so simple. The toughest part is ripping the pallet apart and removing any pesky nails sticking out of the pieces.

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My husband uses a saw to cut through the nails, which makes the process go a lot faster.

Next, just lay out the pieces the way you want, piece together a frame, then nail it all together.

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Our sign says “Jean Short Jamboree” with a combination of metal and denim letters that I found a Michaels. I also attached some clothespins so we can hang a pair of denim shorts on the sign.

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Everyone’s favorite part of the sign is the string and nail arrow pointing the way to the party.

Here’s how to add a yarn nail arrow to a pallet sign:

Before you get started – be sure to use nails with large nail heads so your yarn (or string) doesn’t slip off.

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Print or draw an arrow (or another shape) on paper to be your guide. I had to patch a few pieces of paper together to get the size I wanted.

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Tape your paper arrow guide to the wooden sign.

 

 

Add nails about an inch apart all along the lines on the paper.

 

 

Remove the paper (just rip if off).

 

 

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Next, string your yarn around the perimeter to create an outline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to pull the string super tight between the top of each nail.

 

 

After that, start stringing your yarn all across and wrapping around random nails until you get the look you want.

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Another fun party accessory I made is this foam board photo prop frame.

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DIY Glinda Crown – Wizard of Oz

My best friend’s favorite movie of all time is Wizard of Oz.

Which is why it’s pretty unbelievable that it took us 19 years to do a Wizard of Oz Halloween costume theme.

But, it finally came to fruition.

She was Dorothy, her husband the Scarecrow, my husband was the Lion and I was Glinda the Good Witch.

We were even finalists in a Halloween Costume Contest!

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(If you’ve poked around my blog, you may recognize my husband’s bulked up lion costume from the year before when we dressed up in a circus theme with our dog.)

How amazing is this crown?

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And guess what, I made it myself!

It’s funny because my husband tends to refuse to wear store-bought costumes because they don’t look authentic. This leads to day-of frantic searches in which Tad enlists my help – even though I’ve pestered him for weeks that Halloween is approaching. *Sigh*

(Not this year though!)

I love store-bought costumes, and I got this Glinda costume from HalloweenCostumes.com. Oh my goodness it was super huge on me (better than too tight!).

I ended up taking it in, but the crown itself was so flimsy and warped I couldn’t use it. Total garbage.

So, I decided to create my own and made it fabulous.

I headed off to Hobby Lobby and found the perfect materials to make my own Glinda the Good Witch crown.

Whether you need a good witch costume for a Halloween party or costume contest or for a character in a Wizard of Oz play…

Here’s How to Make Your DIY Adjustable Glinda the Good Witch Crown:

Materials (the findings/embellishments can vary – this is just the unique way I put mine together – be creative with yours!):

  • 2 Sheets of Glitter Foam Paper – like this
  • Rhinstone/crystal embellishments with flat backs
  • Front jewel
  • Blank Ear Studs – like these
  • Hot Glue
  • Velcro

I got all my supplies at Hobby Lobby, but they don’t sponsor me in any way and I’m sure you can find similar items at any craft store.

Steps:

Create Your Crown Shape & Cut Out Crown:

Draw out your crown shape to trace on the back of the glitter foam paper if you don’t have a Cricut.

Here is the file I created to cut out the crown shape on my Circut:

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Unfortunately, it didn’t cut the foam paper as well as I’d like, so I had to go back over the semi cut-out crown and finish cutting it with scissors. (I’ve since upgraded to a new Cricut).

Since 1 piece of foam (11″) wouldn’t reach all the way around my head, I had to use 2 pieces of foam. So I divided the graphic between the front and back sides.

Attach The Front & Back Pieces:

I wanted the crown to be flexible, so I could tighten it to fit my head exactly.

So, Piece 1 used for the front section, and Piece 2 I cut in half to attach to each side of the front, then velcro together in the back:

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I used hot glue to adhere them together, then used 4 of the plain earring studs to reinforce each of the seems.

Embellish Your Crown:

I wasn’t sure the rhinestones would stick well when glued to the glitter foam paper, so I did the same thing to embellish the front as I did to reinforce the seems in the last step.

I pushed the plain earring studs through the foam in the shape of the design I wanted for the front. This method worked great because it was easy to reposition any suds that I didn’t initially place well.

Note: I placed all the earring studs high enough that they wouldn’t poke into my forehead or anywhere else!

Then, I hot glued the rhinestones to the flat fronts of the plain earring studs.

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Here was the outcome of the front rhinestones:

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Add Additional Embellishments:

I glued additional embellishments to each of the top spokes of the crown:

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As well as the signature piece to the front that hangs down on the forehead:

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Attach Velcro to Make Crown Adjustable:

To make the crown adjustable in size I chose to add velcro to the back.

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Here were are all decked out on Halloween:

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I Left My Android Phone in a Cab, Now What?

How to Located & Lock an Android Phone Once It’s Lost

Halloween was one of those epic nights where I ended up in a cab with a new couple making out next to me and a (friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend) chick in the front seat telling me about how she’s her husband’s “beard”.

I’m sorry, what? What’s a “beard”?

Apparently, that’s the chick who a gay guy marries so he comes off to the world as straight. They’ve been married 10 years. Craziness!

Needless to say, my night was getting weird and by the time we arrived at our destination a half hour away , I just wanted to pay the cabbie and be on my way.

Hence, phone deserted in cab. (Total panic – had I just lost all my Halloween pictures before posting to social media???)

This isn’t the first time I’ve left something valuable in a cab. And I was hoping it wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t get my cherished property back.

I’m not all that technologically connected – I don’t back up my phone’s pics on a cloud or even have a password to unlock my phone.

Even so, turns out, there are a couple things you can do to lock up your phone until it’s found.

This was especially important to me considering all the private pics I keep stored on my phone!

First, call your phone to try to locate it can get the contact info of the person who has it in hand (hopefully before the battery dies!)

Then, log into your online account with your provider and look for a way to suspend service to your phone – this will allow anyone who accesses your phone to “Call the owner” but do nothing else. Yay!

Side note: not sure where “call the owner” calls go since they’re holding the owner’s phone – possibly to a landline or another number on the same contract?

I have AT&T, so for me, the process was to log into AT&T.com.

Under the MY AT&T tab, hover over WIRELESS and you’ll see a link for SUSPEND OR REACTIVATE A DEVICE. Click that.

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Locate your phone number (if there are multiple ones on your account) then choose a reason, such as “I can’t find it” or “It was stolen”. Then click the large SUSPEND button.

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Next, I decided to take extra precaution and see what features Google could offer. I followed the instructions here.

Turns out at this link you can Remote Lock Your Phone, as well as see where it is.

Once you log into your gmail account (the one that’s associated with your Android phone) you can lock your device, and even set off the ringtone at full volume for 5 minutes! All at this link: Android Device Manager

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I called my number repetitively until someone answered, got the phone number of my cab driver who answered my phone, then, locked the phone using the above 2 methods.

The next day, I was able to meet up with the driver and retrieve me phone – which I was happy to see was completely locked up (without my password). The only thing you could do was “Call the owner” if you didn’t have the correct pin to unlock the phone.

So cool!

P.S. I tipped the cabbie $20 for not only getting my precious phone back to me but also for going out of his way to meet me the following day. Great guy!

If you’ve lost your phone, try these easy steps to locate & lock your device until you can be reunited.

Or, if you have useful tips, add them below!

Mermaid Costume & Accessories (for less!)

I’m so excited October is here and I’ve just finished up this year’s costume. I’m dressing up as a Mermaid and have had so much fun creating my own mermaid bra and costume accessories.

I haven’t been this eager for Halloween since I created my flaming circus ring for my Circus Ring Master costume.

Here’s how I created a custom mermaid costume for Halloween & saved money!

Mermaid Skirt

There are so many amazing mermaid tail skirts on Etsy but they’re more than I wanted to spend.

I found one on Amazon that was reasonable priced ($40) and had good reviews but it didn’t qualify for Amazon Prime free 2-Day shipping. So it was really $47. Boo!

Here’s how I got the same skirt for only $29.30 (including shipping).

It’s gorgeous!

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Mermaid Bra

I got this amazing bra on sale at Victoria’s Secret (The Date Pushup Bra). I was so excited to get started I didn’t get a picture of the plain bra. Here it is half embellished:

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Then, I got these embellishments at Michaels and Hobby Lobby and hot glued them on:

  • Shells (Michaels)
  • Pearl Border Stickers (Michaels)
  • Strung Bead Shells (Michaels) I used a total of 8 strands.
  • Dimensional Shell Stickers (Hobby Lobby)
  • Starfish Bracelet (Hobby Lobby)
  • Rhinestones (I already had those)

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Here’s how it came out:

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Mermaid Hair Accessories

For hair accessories, I used:

  • 6 bobby pins (had on hand)
  • 6 shells (Michaels – extra ones from bra)
  • 1 Rhinestone Starfish (Hobby Lobby)
  • 1 Alligator Hair Clip (Hobby Lobby)

I glued some leftover shells to some bobby pins – an idea I got from Pinterest.

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I also hot glued a starfish to a hair clip.

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Mermaid Necklace

All I had to do was add a chain to this coral reef charm (both from Hobby Lobby) to create the perfect necklace:

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Now I just have to wait a couple more weeks and I can get all dolled up with my mermaid Bellami hair extensions & I’ll be ready to go!

UPDATE:

Here I am on Halloween:

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Mermaid Braid with Shells:

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Pin me!

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How to Get Amazon Items Cheaper [Sometimes]

I’m an Amazon Prime member and I just love the free 2-Day shipping. It’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of Amazon shopping and not even realize that sometimes I’m spending more for items I could get cheaper somewhere else.

Here is 1 simple step that can save you money when shopping on Amazon:

Be sure Amazon has the best price before you place an order.

Many Amazon sellers also have their own website where you can purchase the same item for less. Depending on what they charge for shipping, I’ve found that sometimes items can be cheaper if purchased directly from the seller, rather than through Amazon.

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Here’s an example of how I saved $15 on the skirt for my mermaid costume:

I simply looked at who was selling it on Amazon – TVStoreOnline. They had it listed at $39.95 + $7 for shipping = $47).

Next, I googled TVStoreOnline to find their website, searched “mermaid skirt” on their site, and there it was – listed for only $25.95 – a whole $15 less than Amazon!).

The next 2 steps will save you even more money!

  1. See if the website has an email newsletter you can sign up for – you can often get 10% off your first purchase when you sign up.
  2. Another tactic is to linger a little during the checkout process. (It’s worth a try!) On TVSToreOnline.com I didn’t check enter my credit card info immediately after typing in my address and a chat box popped up with an offer code for 10% off.

Total for skirt with shipping: $29.30.

Wahoo! By doing a little research, I saved myself nearly $20!

 

Flaming Circus Ring Costume Accessory

My family loves dressing up – St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Oktoberfest, Santacon and Halloween are some of our favorite reasons to get into the costume closet.

Last year, we decided on a circus theme for Halloween. I dressed as a ringmaster lion tamer and my husband (and our pup) dressed as lions.

I always love costumes that incorporate props, so I just had to make a flaming circus ring.

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It was cheap and super easy to make.

Here’s how to make a fiery circus ring prop for a Halloween costume or circus themed birthday party using a hula hoop.

Since I don’t have kids, I didn’t have the hula hoop on hand, but I went and found a cheap one at the Dollar Tree – score! They also sell black duct tape, which I bought and used to cover the entire hoop.

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Then, I created a photo of flames that I could fold around the hoop and printed it on the largest paper my printer can print, which is 13″x19″.

Depending on the size of your hoop, you may want to print multiple flame pictures. I printed 2 large sheets.

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Then I cut out the flames:

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I made sure that when folded the edges lined up well.

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Next, I wrapped the flames around the hoop and used paper clips to hold them in place.

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Since the white back sides of the photo paper showed around the edges, I used a black marker to color in the back edges of each flame.

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Then, I used clear packing tape to attach the first set of flames to the hoop. It’s a little hard to see the tape in the picture, but I was sure to overlap onto the hoop so the flames would stay put.

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For the outside flames, I folded the tape over and put in inside – between the hoop and the inside of the printed flame – so that the tape wouldn’t show at all.

Finally, I glued the tips of the flames together with a glue stick (I re-attached the paperclips just to hold everything in place until it dried).

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And here we all are on Halloween night – I think the flaming circus ring accessory came out great!

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Easy DIY Canvas Mustache Art Craft

I love, love, love mustaches. Actually, I hate mustaches on people, but I love mustache silhouettes. I love them on mugs, I love them on the cool duck tape my husband found at Walmart, and I love it on this awesome t-shirt I got him for his birthday:

Golden Colorado

I may also have a tendency to bust out fake colored, stick-on mustaches every chance I get:

Stick on mustaches

So, when I got some blank canvases to create a collage wall going up my staircase, I knew one of them would turn out to be a mustache print. My original intention was to simply paint the mustache silhouette in the same manner in which I painted my frog and dog art – see my DIY Canvas Art post to see what I’m talking about. But after adding burlap to my Clothespin Picture Frame, I knew a burlap mustache would be way cooler than a painted one.

Easy DIY Burlap Canvas Art Craft

Here are the steps to creating your own awesome burlap mustache canvas art. Obviously, if you’re not quite as obsessed with mustaches as we are, you can tweak this craft to fit your personal tastes.

Step 1: Buy canvas, burlap, and paint.

I got this 8″x24″ canvas on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics and found this roll of burlap at Hobby Lobby. The paint I used was leftover paint from my entry walls, so it’s just Behr Ultra wall paint from Home Depot in Cherry Cobbler (eggshell finish).

Blank Canvas & Burlap Roll

Step 2: Cut burlap to size.

Cover your canvas with burlap and cut it to the size you need. Since my roll of burlap was about the same height as my canvas, I simply rolled it out and cut it.

Roll out and cut burlap

Step 3: Draw mustache shape on burlap.

Next, fold your burlap in half and draw out half of the mustache. I practiced on paper, then copied my shape with a sharpie onto my burlap. Since I didn’t want the sharpie line to show later, I drew my line as lightly as possible – rather than pressing down hard on the burlap, I barely allowed the marker to touch the fabric.

Fold burlap in half

Draw mustache shape on burlap

Step 4: Cut out burlap mustache.

Use scissors to cut out mustache following your sharpie line and making sure burlap stays neatly folded in half while you’re cutting. This will ensure both sides are the same when you unfold.

Cut out mustache shape.

Step 5: Paint your canvas.

You may want to leave your canvas white – if so, skip to step 6. Otherwise, paint your canvas on the front and sides. I used a 3″ roller to quickly cover my canvas. Since red is a difficult color to work with, it took 3 coats before I reached the results I wanted, which was to match the walls in my entry.

Paint canvas

Step 6: Attach burlap to canvas.

Once canvas is dry, position the burlap on the canvas and use a hot glue gun to adhere the burlap to the canvas. Be very careful when positioning as the glue dries fast and the burlap will rip if you try to pull it back up (I know b/c I tried!). Start with one end and dab a few dots of glue onto the canvas, then lightly press down with your hands (careful not to burn your fingers – that glue’s hot!). Then, continue lifting the loose burlap up, adding glue underneath, and pressing the burlap down until the entire piece is attached.

Hot glue burlap to canvas

That’s it! Now your new custom burlap art piece is ready to hang.

Supplies:

canvas

burlap (enough to cover canvas or create shape in size you need)

sharpie

scissors

hot glue gun

If painting your canvas, you’ll also need:

paint

paintbrush or roller

cardboard, newspaper or tin foil to create a painting surface

paper towels

disposable gloves (if you don’t want paint on your hands!)