General DIY

Michigan DIY Pride: MADE Studio + Market


I’m a sucker for a craft/DIY/hands-on learning opportunity, so I tend to take workshops and classes A LOT. You can usually find me learning about succulents and flower arranging, making cards at Paper Source, or practicing quilting techniques with teachers I admire. I’m excited to add MADE Studio + Market to my list of workshop destinations.





Founded by Christy Brennan and Katheryn Hansen, MADE offers a space to create alongside a marketplace packed with pieces made primarily from local and regional artists. For the Michigan lover there’s a huge selection of mitten-friendly goods to fall in love with. The storefront covers shopping needs from adorable baby shirts to gorgeous ceramic air plant hangers.


MADE is big on learning opportunities, especially when it brings likeminded folks together from different communities. They offer monthly Sip-and-Shop nights, usually featuring a special collaboration with a local maker or business. There are also many workshops to take at MADE. Last month I stopped by the studio to join them for a seed bomb class. We learned the importance of making our yards as nature friendly as possible. Gathered around the big workshop table in the back we got our hands dirty (literally) and made dozens of small seed bombs to take to our homes.


If you’re excited to try something new or pick up a gift made by someone right down the road from you, MADE Studio + Market is for you.

The Museum Makery: Modern Macramé


My dream evening is to work on a craft project with likeminded folks set against a great backdrop. Thanks to the Cranbrook Art Museum, I had a helluva Wednesday night last week.




Our/Detroit was taken over on March 30 for an edition of the museum’s Museum Makery workshop series, Modern Macramé, as a group of craft-loving Michiganders each created a unique plant hanger. Artist Hannah Chalew was our host for the evening, teaching us the way of the crown and square knots. It had been years since I’d made any kind of macramé project, so I couldn’t wait to refresh my knotting knowledge.






The bar tables were transformed into individual crafting workspaces for us. We selected a plant of our choice and a heaping handful of wooden beads to use as support throughout our plant hanger. Hannah walked us through the basics of macramé knots to get us started. Table partners quickly started helping one another out; it was a great feeling seeing everyone come together in the spirit of making.


26171095681_0a1a3cdf30_oAfter a few delicious Our/Detroit vodka-based cocktails, we all emerged victorious with our new plant hangers. I forgot all that goes into making a macramé project, but I feel incredibly confident to make a matching plant hanger for our house after my visit to the Museum Makery.

Cranbrook Art Museum has a busy event schedule coming up this spring with the opening of Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, the inspiration for our macramé evening. Make sure to follow them on Facebook to see the latest events, like the April Museum Makery, Photography!

How To: Instagram Photo Board


I spend countless hours loving all of the funny and charming photos of my nephews and nieces that are shared digitally. But when it comes to having some printed copies of those great photos I tend to be at a loss. I don’t print photos at home, and we rarely have prints made with an online printing service, so those photos aren’t shared throughout our home. Recently I decided that needed to change; I wanted a photo display solution that would allow me to swap out photos as new photos become available (kids grow fast, don’t they?!) so I could archive the older photos to enjoy later on.

I found that one of the large, ready-to-craft wooden boards found at Joann Fabric and Craft could make a great photo clip display board. Looking at close-to-home printing solutions, my local Walgreens offered quick photo pick-up as well as a variety of photo print sizes. If I took advantage of their Instagram square size, they’d fit perfectly on an 11 x 14″ wooden plaque. Here’s how I made mine.


  • Wooden craft board/plaque, 11 x 14″
  • Oversized craft clothespins
  • Cording
  • Craft paint and paintbrush
  • Screw eye hooks
  • Ruler and marker
  • Adhesive craft felt sheet
  • Scissors
  • Wood glue


Start out by painting your wooden plaque. If there are any rough spots, give the piece a quick sand. Let the paint dry completely. Make sure you’ve painted all sides and filled in any trim areas, too.


Along one horizontal side of your piece, measure in 2″ from each end and make a small dot with your marker.


At the marks you made on the top of your plaque, insert your screw eye hooks. I used my drill to start the hole, but don’t drill too much. You don’t want to accidentally crack the piece. Slowly twist the hooks into place. If the wood splinters at all, lightly sand it away and touch up with matching paint.


There are so many different types of clothespins available today to use with general crafting or paper crafting projects. I actually found these jumbo clips for Easter at Joann. I wanted black clips, so I decided to flip over the bunny side and use the plain side as the side I would see. Place your square images onto the front of your plaque and position them where you’d like them. Place your clip above the photos and make a small mark with your marker. Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the back of the clip and adhere to the wood. Apply pressure for several seconds before releasing your hand. Repeat for the other two clips.


Once your clips have dried on the front of the plaque, gently turn it over. With adhesive felt, cut four triangle pieces. Remove the paper backing and adhere to each corner of the plaque. This will help the plaque not bang on a door, if you choose to hang it there. Add your cord, knot, and clip your photos into place.

#Succulove: Sunnylife Plant Hangers


When I visited Nordstrom the other day looking for shoes, I didn’t have “adorable new succulent holder” on my department store shopping list. Color me very surprised when I found a collection of hanging and table top plant pots from Sunnylife.


I purchased a small hanging pot and a fabric pot from the Australian company. I was drawn to the planters’ bright colors, good prices and uniqueness – I’d never seen planters like this before!


I planted a new succulent directly into the hanging planter. My only piece of feedback for these hanging pots is to make the thick rope a bit longer. The material is great, just a bit short for my big bay window.

Take the #Make2Share Challenge


Recently I saw a few friends and folks I love to follow on Instagram showing off gifts they were making to share with others. Curious, I looked at #Make2Share and saw several others doing the same thing. Turns out there’s a wonderful new DIY movement taking shape.


Make2Share is a social media-driven DIY challenge lead by some very well-known craft brands. Participants select two friends to make gifts for. Once the gifts have been made and delivered, the participant tags their friends and asks them to pass on the handmade goodwill with the following pledge:

To my friends [ tag 2 friends] I made you these [ handmade items] as part of the #make2share Challenge. In exchange for this random act of giving, all I ask is for you to make and share something special for two people of your choice in the next two weeks. Post a photo and be sure to tag #make2share so we can keep it going forward!


I’m delivering my Make2Share gifts this week to a few co-workers who put a smile on my face at work this week. Once the last gift is delivered, I’ll show off the goods!

You can learn more about the challenge, and grab some promotional images and badges, over on the campaign’s website. So – who will you make to share with?

Support #Write_On 2016


WriteOnSlide-145Last year I joined the #Write_On challenge for the first time and fell in love with it right away. Hosted by Egg Press and Hello! Lucky, snail mail lovers may sign up for a letterpress card pack in exchange for promising to send a handwritten piece of mail every day during the month of April. I’m proud to say that I passed the challenge with flying colors. I even shared some of my favorite card hoarding tips over on DIY Network.

We’re less than a month away from the 2016 challenge. This year the organizers are hoping to make 10,000 kits available to eager mail lovers, but they need our help. For just a small donation you can help make more kits available to challenge participants. Head over to Write_On’s Indiegogo page to learn more and to see all of the AMAZING perks available in exchange for your generous donation.

How-To: Fabric Wrapped Bangle Bracelet


Happy National Craft Month! While crafters probably think EVERY month is National Craft Month, March is the official designation to remind friends and family that everyone has a DIY side, whether they know it or not. How do you plan on celebrating this month?


I’m back home from #QuiltCon and full of wonderful new inspiration. One of my favorite giveaways/make-and-takes from this year’s show floor were fabric accessories. From chunky necklaces handed out by Windham Fabrics (I wonder how many of these they had to make?!) to skinny, fabric-wrapped bangles at the Free Spirit booth (show above), these accessories were the must-have DIY pieces to wear when attending the conference. If you didn’t make it out to California for the conference, don’t worry. You can put your scrap basket to work tonight and make your very own fabric-wrapped bracelets in a matter of minutes to kick off National Craft Month.


For the bracelet I made today, I used one of Paper Source’s medium wood bangles. The set comes with three different bangle sizes, going from small to large. You can find a variety of bangle styles online; if you’d like a really thin bangle, try wrapping one of these silver bracelets from Oriental Trading.


To get started with the medium-sized bracelet from Paper Source (about 3.5″ in diameter and 1″ wide), rip or cut a 1-inch WOF piece of fabric. (I ripped my fabric so that I would have a more distressed look.) For today’s bracelet I’m using Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton Color of the Year, “Highlight.”



For this bracelet you can knot the fabric ends together or glue into place with a fabric adhesive – it’s all up to you and the look you’re going for. I like the raw edges, so I tied my ends together. Wrap your fabric strip tightly around your bangle. Knot the ends together and trim the fabric tails.


That’s it! If you’re in need of some instant gratification today, it doesn’t get better than this. I’m pairing my Highlight bangle with my #QuiltCon Free Spirit bangle that I made in Pasadena. Making a fun something every day is my goal for National Craft Month, and I hope it’s yours, too. Here’s to you and your month of daily crafting!

(Looking for more bangle crafting ideas? Check out the Paper Source blog for some paper-themed decorating ideas!)