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How to: Make Simple, Organic DIY Lip Balm for 25¢

by Rebekah Greiman

DIY Lip Balm recipe

I like to re-invent and create things around my home. And I like to do so inexpensively and with my own little flair. So today, I have a low cost, simple and organic recipe for DIY Lip Balm.  

My hubby and I go through inordinate amount of lip balm. And at $3 a tube, it was beginning to add up. I wanted to find a way that I could circumvent the cost, the unnecessary added chemicals and the need for store-bought lip balm. For approximately $.25 a tube, I had my very own lip balm without the chemicals.     

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Curbly Original
Fall Style Guide: The Cutest and Coziest Fingerless Gloves

by Amber Dickson
Fingerless Gloves
Source: Martha Stewart

When the air starts to crisp up, wearing layers is key to being comfortable.  Fingerless gloves can be a fun and practical addition to your fall wardrobe.  They add warmth, style, and keep your fingers free for devices and other dexterous tasks.  Read on for a roundup of DIY, buy, and up-cycled options.  You will want to get this kind of cozy into your life.       

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Curbly Original
Make This! Minimal Leather Earrings

by Marlene Sauer
DIY leather earrings
Photos by Marlene Sauer

Raise your hand if you have trouble finding jewelry that you like! Modern and interesting jewelry at affordable prices can be such a unicorn, don't you think? Which is why jewelry is the perfect candidate for some good old DIY intervention!

I love rolling up my figurative sleeves to create unique, handmade accessories. My latest jewelry project is one you minimalists will love: DIY leather circle earrings.        

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Chase the Rainy Days Away with this DIY Painted Umbrella (With Video!)

by M.E. Gray

How to turn your boring umbrella into a work of art

Do you remember this joke?: April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? The answer is "pilgrims" for those of you skipped the third grade. Cue eye roll. Anyway - we are headed right into the rainy season as March comes to a close and winter is finally releasing its chilly, chilly grasp. It's finally time to break out the umbrellas and rain boots! Keep reading to see how to make your rain gear more personal by DIY-ing this painted umbrella (P.S. it's totally waterproof, too!).       

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Make A Statement: DIY Clay Pendant Tassel Necklace

by Faith Provencher
DIY Clay Pendant Tassel Necklace
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Every now and then we like to share a necklace tutorial over here at Curbly... and today is one of those days! This is no ordinary necklace tutorial though - this clay pendant tassel necklace is a bold, in-your-face statement piece that will surely garner compliments over and over again. And it's really quite easy to make! So let's get started.    

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How to Turn a Pillowcase Into a Drawstring Backpack

by M.E. Gray

How to turn a pillowcase into a DIY backpack

I love that small backpacks are making a comeback. I'm definitely a backpack girl. I like to have my hands free and my stuff secure, so a backpack is the ideal bag. And tiny backpacks are perfect for those quick trips to the store, last-minute drinks, or biking adventures. Drawstring backpacks are particularly easy to make, and today I'm going to show you how to turn a pillowcase into a DIY backpack (with hidden pocket!).             

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These Simple DIY Knotted Bracelets Were Made for Stacking

by Holly Wade

These Simple Knotted Bracelets were Made for Stacking

When I was in high school, I was obsessed with stackable bracelets made out of leather, hemp and other cording materials. Since all things do make a comeback, I wanted to return to my roots and make a set of stackable knotted bracelets that weren't macrame. I didn't think it was possible, but I may actually be getting sick of macrame (I know, crazy!) but these simple infinity knotted bracelets were a welcome change! Make a set of simple knotted bracelets with any cording material and use a sliding knot to adjust it to your wrist size, and they're great for stacking on your wrist.         

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The Wabi-Sabi Home: Learn to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity

by M.E. Gray

Wabi-sabi home

I used to own this cup and saucer set. It was white with a yellow border - I found it at the thrift store. The handle of the cup was comfortable, and the saucer large. I loved it. I loved it in a way that it seemed to make my coffee taste better in the morning. One day, my yellow cup met a fate that many ceramic dishes face. It was dropped, and the cup cracked. The vessel was still usable after its accident, after a bit of gluing. But it never looked the same again. A piece of the ceramic was missing, a chunk gone. I still held onto it, because I loved this cup, and life happens, you know? This is, roughly, the definition of wabi-sabi.              

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Curbly Original
DIY This: Make Your Own Super Cute “Enamel” Pins for Valentine’s Day

by M.E. Gray

Valentine's Day Pin: Make these lookalike enamel pins!

It's almost Valentine's Day! I love this holiday because: A. love is a lovely thing, B. exchanging cards or little gifts is always fun, and C. chocolate! What's not to enjoy? You know what else I'm totally loving right now? Enamel pins (hello 90s fashion - it's nice to see you again!). If you're looking for a cute gift to give to your friends, coworkers, or gal-pals, these faux enamel pins are quick and easy to make.     

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Curbly Original
Customize Your Beanie Hat in Under 20 Minutes

by M.E. Gray

How to add quick detail to a beanie cap with embroidery

I was in high school when I was first drawn to embroidering. I wasn't inspired by traditional embroidering, like a well-phrased cross-stitch pattern or a picturesque embroidered landscape. It was doodling with thread that got me hooked. I started by stitching random shapes and designs into my favorite pair of jeans, adding new accents at random. But, I stitched them in a way that only made me happy. By that I mean, if I looked down at my pants, all the shapes were right-side up. So if someone were to look at me, they would see a bunch of upside-down rainbows and clouds and random words and a girl who was very proud of her creativity. I'm positive it looked insane, but I still think embroidering your clothes is a good idea. Today we're going to start small and look at an embroidered beanie, so don't worry - your jeans are safe.       

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Curbly Original
How To: DIY Knock-Off Anthropologie Metalwork Hurricane

by Jennifer Farley

Anthropologie Metal Hurricane Knock Off

I have been loving brass metalwork hurricanes lately, especially the ones from Anthropologie. While trolling the lighting aisles of the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store the light bulb went off...the one in my head that is. I could use a brass and glass 1980s light fixtures to make a brass hurricane. Here is how I made my knock off metal work hurricane.   

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Make an Embroidered Scarf for Fall

by Holly Wade

Make an Embroidered Scarf for Fall

I can feel the fall weather approaching, which means it's almost time for scarves, blankets and all things pumpkin spiced! Rather than buying new clothing I don't need this season, I've been looking for ways to revamp the clothes I already have to make them feel like new. I've had a light green scarf for years, and it turned out to be the perfect piece for making this DIY embroidered scarf with a hand-drawn wind pattern along the edges. 

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Make an Embroidered Scarf for Fall

by Holly Wade

Make an Embroidered Scarf for Fall

I can feel the fall weather approaching, which means it's almost time for scarves, blankets and all things pumpkin spiced! Rather than buying new clothing I don't need this season, I've been looking for ways to revamp the clothes I already have to make them feel like new. I've had a light green scarf for years, and it turned out to be the perfect piece for making this DIY embroidered scarf with a hand-drawn wind pattern along the edges. 

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DIY This: How To Make Super Sweet Ice Cream Patches

by M.E. Gray

DIY custom patches with a sweet twist - they're all about ice cream!

I scream, you scream, what's the deal with all this screaming? July is National Ice Cream month, which is just perfect because the temperatures keep rising. A hot day is the perfect excuse for an icy scoop or two. To celebrate my love for all things tasty and sweet, I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve. Or rather, I'm wearing it on my denim vest. Here are three ways to create custom patches, all of which are ice cream themed.  

 

 

Watch the video to see these custom patches come to life, and keep reading for the full scoop (make that a double scoop!). 

Materials

What you'll need to make custom patches three ways

 

  • Black denim fabric
  • Acrylic paints and paint brush
  • An embroidery hoop and needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • Yarn
  • Water-soluble marking pencil
  • Tacky or white glue
  • Scissors

Ice Cream Patch #1

How to create the embroidered patch look with paint

To start, place a swatch of denim in between the rounds of the embroidery hoop, and tighten. Make sure the fabric is taut and smooth.

How to create the embroidered patch look with paint

With a water-soluble pencil, sketch the outline of your patch idea. You can search the web for easy-to-draw ice cream images, or wing it. This popsicle is simple enough that I sketched it directly onto the fabric.

DIY flair: How to create custom patches

Next, take acrylic paint and fill in the design. To get this ombré look, blend shades of paint from dark to light directly on the design. For more jazz, I painted the popsicle stick with metallic paint. You will need to apply two layers of paint for total coverage. Let the layers dry between applications.

Popsicles Patch: Use paint to mimic the look of embroidered patches

Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut out the design, leaving an outline of fabric. Done!

To prevent the patch from fraying, skip to the end of patch #3's tutorial for more information.

Ice Cream Patch #2

How to embroider your own patches

How to embroider custom patches

This next sweet treat on our list of custom patches is essentially the same as the first, but with a bit of top-stitching. Stretch a swatch of denim over the embroidery hoop, sketch your design, and fill in with acrylic paint. When choosing your paint colors, coordinate with the embroidery floss. Just as with the previous patch, apply two layers of paint.

How to embroider custom patches

How to embroider custom patches

After the paint has dried, thread an embroidery needle with thread, and tie a knot at one end. Stitch from the back to the front, leaving the knot hidden on the back of the fabric. 

Now stitch away! Since the paint already defines the shape of the patch, stitch as little or as much as you want. I chose to fill the top with mint-colored stitches, but then use less thread for the pink and yellow. Tie off in the back.

Ice cream art: Embroidered patches with paint!

When you're happy with your stitches, cut out the patch, leaving an outline. 

To prevent the patch from fraying, skip to the end of patch #3's tutorial for more information.

Ice Cream Patch #3

How to make this ice cream patch on a sugar cone!

This last custom patch follows the same method as before, except for only needing one coat of paint. Let the paint dry completely.

Create custom patches from fuzzy strands of yarn
Rather than stitching with embroidery thread, this patch gets its fuzzy look from yarn. Cut a section of yarn, then divide it into the smallest sections possible. My yarn was comprised of four sections, so I divided it in half, then in halves again.

Create a custom patch from fuzzy strands of yarn

Thread an embroidery needle with a section of yarn. Stitch from the back, being careful not to pull the yarn completely through the fabric. Stitch through the front, but do not pull the yarn completely taut. Leave a tuft of yarn sticking out of the front. 

Stitch in this manner until the patch is completely filled with stitches.  

How to make this custom fuzzy patch

How to make ice cream patches

Like before, cut the patch out of the fabric. 

To seal the edges of your patches and prevent them from fraying, apply a thin layer of tacky glue along the edges of the fabric. Let dry completely, and your patches are ready to be worn.


How to make custom patches three ways

Create patches like this sweet and fuzzy ice cream cone

Learn how to make your own custom ice cream patches

Learn how to make your own custom ice cream patches

Make a sweet patch

How to make custom patches - and ours are all about ice cream!
Share this project on Pinterest!

It took a lot of effort to not make every single one of these patches mint green, because mint chocolate chip is my favorite ice cream flavor. What's yours?

 

Now that you've crafted up some custom patches, try your hand at some more flair by making "enamel" pins!

DIY faux enamel pins

 

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20 Things You Could Borrow (Not Buy) For Your Wedding

by Jennifer Farley

20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding

Weddings are expensive, and more often than not the things purchased for ceremonies and receptions are used only once. Borrowing some of the items needed for your wedding can help you cut costs. Here are twenty things (big and small) you can borrow instead of buy for your upcoming nuptials.   

 

20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding
The Pretty Blog: Photo Claire Nicola

1. Vases and Mason Jars

Table centerpieces can really be expensive, so send out an email to your friends and family asking to borrow vases, glasses, or mason jars.

Have a plan in place for each item's return before you ask to borrow something. This gives the owner confidence that their item won't get lost in the clean-up.

2. Decor for Centerpieces

You can achieve a more eclectic or "collected" look for your wedding by borrowing home decor pieces (like hurricane or lantern candle holders) for you centerpieces.

 

20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding
Mary Fields Photography: Photo: Mary Driver

3. Cake Stand

While a cake stand isn't too expensive, it's the little stuff that adds up. Cut costs by borrowing a cake stand from a friend, and take it to your decorator to use for your cake.

Tip: Make a simple cake stand something more grand with a wall mirror. In the wedding above, I added a borrowed wall mirror to give this on-loan cake stand a little extra punch.
20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding

4. Tablecloths

It can be hard to find enough tablecloths to borrow for all your reception tables. But, you can save money by borrowing tablecloths for some of the spaces, like for serving tables, guest tables, or the cake table. 

Styling Trick: To get a "floor length" look, use two tablecloths and hide the seam with a patterned fabric remnant. Place the serving table against a wall so the tablecloth only needs to drape on one side of the table.

20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding

5. Serving Trays

The above wedding used a mismatched set of borrowed serving trays to serve sweets at the dessert table.

Place a sticker or piece of tape on the bottom of anything borrowed with the name of the person who gave you the item. Have a designated bin (or bins) for all borrowed things to be stored during clean-up so they can be returned properly.
20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding
JulieCate.com Photo: Julie Cate

6. Bridesmaid Dresses

Save yourself and your bridesmaids some money by allowing them to borrow a dress. Once you pick your wedding colors, go to a fabric store and cut fabric remnants in the colors that will blend and work with the look you are aiming for. Give the fabric remnants to your bridesmaids to use as a guide as they ask friends for potential dresses to borrow. You will be "friend of  the year" for saving them money and your wedding will be unique.

20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding
Modwedding.com Photo: Diana McGregor

7. Flower Girl Dresses

I don't have a little girl, but many of my friends who do have flower girl dresses wasting away in their daughter's closets. I wish some mama would have given me this idea. My mid-twenty self, nowhere near mom stage, had no clue the closet life of flower girl dresses... it's worn once and then outgrown six months later. Have the mom of your flower girl ask her friends if they have a dress her daughter can borrow. It doesn't even have to be an official "flower girl" dress. If you give parameters or a color theme, most of the time a fancy dress will work.

8. Bridal Veil

Veils are usually worn for pictures, your 45 minute ceremony, and then taken off so you can move and groove at your reception. Before spending $500+ on a veil, see if your married friends have one to loan you.

If you can't borrow, save money by renting your veil instead. Veil rentals are typically less than $50 for the day at places like Rent the Runway.

9. Bridal Jewelry

This is such a fun thing to borrow from friends or family - and you carry a piece of them with you all day when you borrow their beloved jewels. 

10. Baskets and Boxes

You will need baskets and boxes for things like programs, flower girl petals, and party favors. These are easily borrowed items if you don't already have them yourself.

11. Cake Server and Knife

Your grandmother probably has a really nice set of these sitting in a drawer ready for you to use. I actually forgot to get these for my wedding. The day of my wedding my coordinator/friend called a neighbor when she realized I had forgotten. I had no clue (nor did I care when I found out afterward) that I was cutting my cake with Joe and Debbie's engraved cake server!

12. Your Bridesmaid Flowers

Wait... what? What I mean is "borrow" your bridesmaid bouquets as decor at your reception. Leave a few empty vases on reception tables and have your bridesmaids place their bouquets there during the reception. This will help you save money on centerpieces and wedding decor. Without a place to store their bouquets, your bridesmaids will likely lay them down somewhere at the reception to dry out, so you might as well use what you paid for to the fullest! And, if your bridesmaids want to keep them, they can pick them up before they leave. This works really well if you have done your pictures beforehand.

Don't let those beautiful large flower arrangements sit at your ceremony venue during the reception. Plan ahead and get your coordinator or a friend to take them to your reception after your ceremony is over.
Confetti Magazine via Pinterest: Photo: Brosnan Photogrpahic

13. Venue Decor

When you book your ceremony or reception venue, ask if there's any decor they have available for you to use. Often churches have wreaths or decor they use for other occasions. It may not be your style, but it's a worth a look. Often times this decor is free or included in your venue cost. I didn't use them, but my ceremony venue had candles stands that fit their pews perfectly. If you are having a religious or cultural ceremony, your ceremony venue might have specific items to accommodate these traditions such as communion glasses or unity candelabras.

Christmas time is where "borrowing" decor from a church or venue really works. Most churches are already decorated with trees, poinsettias, and garland, and won't mind you incorporating them into your decor.

14. Ring Bearer's Pillow

Borrow a pillow for your ring bearer to carry with or without the ring. A cute pillow can make for a great photo for your wedding book. Let's be honest though, the photo will be the only time the pillow will really be noticed.

15. Furniture

Instead of renting furniture, borrow that special piece you want to use in your wedding.

16. Shoes

Ask your best friend if you can borrow a favorite pair of shoes for your wedding.

17. Photo Booth Accessories or Backdrop

Get creative with your photo backdrop and borrow fun accessories so your guests can take fun, stylish pictures! I love this unique umbrella backdrop - which is so simple and an easily borrowed.

Look through a younger or older family member's costume closet for fun jewelry, hats, and sunglasses.

18. Leftover Flowers

Ask your florist for the leftover flowers they don't use to make your bouquets and ceremony decor. Most florists order over what they need to make specific flower arrangements. The flowers are paid for by you, even the extras, and most brides don't know to ask for them. Have the florist deliver them (preferably in a bucket of water) when the flowers are delivered, or have someone pick up the extras when the florist is done making the arrangements. Set aside extra vases and use the extra flowers as centerpieces, or in places that need a little extra decor. 

19. Respectfully borrow the skills or time of friends and family.

We all have gifted friends or loved ones who love to help out in anyway they can. Say "yes" to good friends and family who offer to help you! Maybe it's having a party to stuff and address your invitations, or asking your friend with awesome handwriting to paint lettering on a large sign. Enlist a group of friends who are not involved in the wedding party to help you decorate on the day of your wedding.

You will save money enlisting good friends to help, but don't be skimpy. Use a little of that saved money to put toward 'thank you' notes or even gift cards to say how much their help means to you.

 

Borrowing Magnolia

20. Your Dress

If you are on an extreme budget, borrowing a dress from a family member or friend of a similar size can be a huge money saver. My wedding dress has been in a box for almost 12 years and I would happily loan it to a friend if they wanted to wear it. It can be tricky to make it fit perfectly, so another way to do this is to "borrow a dress" from a rental site such as Borrowing Magnolia. Renting is a very affordable way to wear a high-end dress.

20 Things to Borrow Instead of Buy For Your Wedding
Pin It: Things to Borrow for your Wedding

 

Afterwards, you can take all the money you saved from borrowing to decorate your new home!

If you are planning a wedding, here are 14 sneaky ways to save even more money on your wedding.

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Roundup: 10 DIY Tote Bags for Summer

by Capree K

Roundup: 10 DIY Tote Bags for Summer

Summer is hot on our heels, which means farmer's markets, picnics, and bike rides will be happening on the regular. Make sure you have a tote bag handy for all these outdoor adventures (that bottle of wine and loaf of bread aren't going to transport themselves)! Here are 10 of our favorite DIY tote bags that will dutifully serve you all summer long.      

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