DIY Carbs T-Shirt!

carbs t-shirt

If you really want to see me climb up on my soapbox, talk to me about how bad carbs are. Yeah, yeah, yeah… we shouldn’t eat carbs and only carbs, but man, sometimes carbs are life. And I certainly couldn’t get through a workout without a lot of ’em. I wanted to celebrate my love for carbs with a slogan tee, and decided to make my own!

I’m sure you could figure out how to do this yourself, but just in case, I thought I’d share the simple instructions with you.

diy t-shirt

S U P P L I E S :

  • iron on letters (like these)
  • t-shirt (mine’s from here)
  • iron
  • press cloth

diy slogan t-shirt

Step One: Cut out the letters you need to make your word or slogan.

Step Two: Arrange the letters paper-side-up onto the shirt. Spend some time making sure it’s centered and straight!

diy slogan t-shirt

Step Three: Using a press cloth, apply 30lbs of pressure using a hot iron for 30 seconds onto the letters to adhere them to the shirt. 

Step Four: Allow the shirt to cool completely then peel off the paper backing of the letters.


carbs tee

There ya have it! A t-shirt for any purpose, but especially handy for doughnut runs and eating at Italian restaurants!

DIY Gold Striped Mug

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight holiday creamers

It just doesn’t feel like the holiday season unless I’ve made a fun holiday craft! As an adult, I’m much more into fancy housewares than paper chain garlands, so I thought a festive mug would be the perfect thing to make. This painted mug is dishwasher and microwave safe, making an impressive homemade holiday gift, or a nice addition to your own mug collection. I enjoyed using mine for drinking coffee with my favorite seasonal creamers from International Delight. After all, it is the holidays! The peppermint mocha and frosted sugar cookie flavors will only be around for the holidays, and then you’ll have to wait until next year to find them again.

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight

I thought gold stripes would be perfect for the holidays, but would also add glam to my coffee during the rest of the year. You can use any color you like, of course, as long as the paint is clearly dishwasher and food safe.

DIY Painted Striped Mug

yulu yogurt fudgesicles

  • clear glass mug (You can purchase a set of four from Target here.)
  • porcelain paint
  • high quality masking tape (Do not use easy release painter’s tape.)
  • small, high quality paint brush

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step One: Tape off stripes on your mug. You can trim the masking masking tape to be as wide or thin as you like— just lay out strips onto parchment paper and cut with a blade and ruler. I didn’t measure the spacing between stripes, but ended up pulling up the first tape job to slightly adjust the spacing. My goal was to perfectly incorporate the mug handles into the spacing of the stripes.

Tip: Press down the edges of the tape with your fingernail to make sure it adheres tightly to the walls of the mug. You don’t want paint seeping underneath!

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step Two: Brush several light coats of porcelain paint onto the open spaces between the tape. The first coat will be very sheer, but don’t worry, after it dries, you can apply a few more coats within mere minutes of each other. After 5 or 6 coats, the paint will be opaque.

Tip: Don’t brush on the paint too thick, or it might seep under the tape or dry in globs around it. The first coat of paint takes only a few minutes to dry, but don’t wait more than a few minutes between subsequent coats or the paint will be likely to pull up with the tape in step three.

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step Three: Gently peel off the tape, being careful not to peel off any paint with it. The edge of the painted stripes might pop up ever so slightly. Just rub your finger along the edges to push them back down. If any paint has seeped below the tape and dried there, just use your fingernail or a dull blade to carefully scrape it off immediately.

DIY Painted Striped Mug

Step Four: Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours and then bake according to the instructions on the paint bottle you are using. This step ensures your mug will be dishwasher safe. Still— I wouldn’t scrub it clean with anything rough.

DIY gold striped glass mug

After they’re baked, feel free to use them immediately. Fancy, eh? Your friends will never guess you painted them yourself!

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight holiday creamers

The first time I used my mugs, I filled them with freshly brewed coffee and my favorite seasonal creamer from International Delight— Peppermint Mocha. It’s like Christmas in a cup!

International Delight Cartwheel App

You can find International Delight seasonal creamers at most Target stores, and until December 24th, you can get 5% off International Delight, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Silk Coffee Creamers using the Target Cartwheel app. We bought a bunch to keep on hand for holiday parties and cozy evenings at home.

Target Holiday Decorations 2015

And of course we couldn’t resist checking out all of Target’s amazing holiday decorations while we were there! We picked out the girls’ annual ornament, and impulse bought some wrapping paper that was too beautiful to leave behind. Target always has the best supplies for a stylish Christmas!

Target Holiday Decorations 2015

DIY Painted Striped Mug with International Delight holiday creamers

Be sure to let me know if you make your own mugs! You could try hand painting trees, snowflakes, or fun phrases too. So many possibilities!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WhiteWave Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mandi Makes a Dollhouse

1:12 Modern Dollhouse Project

A month ago, I thought it would be really fun to make a dollhouse for Lucy’s Christmas present. I was so inspired years ago by Nicole’s dollhouse, and others who followed along with the I’m a Giant Challenge, and finally I have an actual excuse to make a dollhouse. It’ll be fun, I said. It won’t be too difficult, I said. I’m laughing at myself now. This project has basically consumed my life! For starters, I built a dollhouse that was the wrong scale (too small for the furniture I wanted to put in it), so I had to find someone to buy it to recoup my money, then I had to buy a new one and rebuild. (Kind of embarrassing to admit I did that!) So that’s where I am now. Working on finishing details to the interior before the next stage begins- decorating!

I haven’t been doing the best job at documenting this project, because it’s just nice to not have to worry about that all the time. Hashtag blogger problems! But you can see some photos on my Facebook page and at the Instagram hashtage #mandimakesadollhouse

1:12 Modern Dollhouse Project

Here’s the inside! You can see it before I did any painting here. I wanted to place the furniture before deciding on wall placement and colors for each room. I still haven’t settled on a color for the bathroom or other bedroom on the second floor. I figure, things should be colorful, because this is a kid’s dollhouse, after all! It’s not just for me to play with, though make no mistake, I will be playing with this beaut when it’s finished. I’ve decided to generally stick to pink, orange, and yellow for the main colors, with natural colored accents thrown in. Maybe I will do more of a neutral color scheme for the first floor, pinks and rusts in the second floor, and yellow on the third floor. That’s my plan so far, but as you can see, I’m still working on painting (masking tape still in place), and haven’t added trim or stairs yet, so anything is fair game at this point!

The dollhouse kit I decided on is pretty basic, but I decided to buy two dormer kits to add to the attic space. It was a bit challenging to add dormers that didn’t belong to my dollhouse kit, but I definitely think it was worth it. Cutting out angled holes for the dormers, sanding and wood filling my heart out until they were perfect, and then wallpapering one and caulking the other was no joke! Sometimes I feel like I’m building a real house. Each tiny little detail needs to much attention. Each little stair spindle and trim piece. So much priming, sanding down the primer, priming again, painting, and sanding between coats of paint. And let’s not forget hand scribing each individual plank into the plywood floors and staining it in layers to try to get the look of wood flooring. What?! Yes. Perfectionism at its finest. (Sanding down tiny clapboard is best done while frying out your brain to Gossip Girl episodes on Netflix.) I suppose it doesn’t need to be that much work, but I figure if I’m going to do it, I want to do it right.

DIY dollhouse accessories

I still have to add exterior details, like windows, shingles, etc, but am not looking forward to that so much. I’m really chomping at the bit to add trim and fill the interior with all of the fun things I’ve been making and collecting along the way. Some of the little things are vintage, found on eBay, and other things I made myself (I’ll share a couple of easy DIYs later), but here’s everything I bought new. I found some of these things at local craft stores (Pat Catans and Michaels) but I’ve linked to everything you can buy online:

1-12 dollhouse accessories

Dollhouse Kit (not pictured)
Dormer Kit (not pictured)
1. Bookshelf with miniature books
2. Porcelain bathroom set (this is getting glued down)
3. Cuckoo clock
4. Kitchen set (I painted mine)
5. Dollhouse rugs (I bought three from this shop, and am making the rest.)
6. Miniature tea set
7. Miniature Amber glass jars (I actually found mine in the jewelry section at a craft store.)
8. Step stools
9. Bathroom flooring
10. Nursery set
11. Attic wallpaper (scrapbook paper)

Here’s the Calico Critter family that will live inside:

calico critter cat familycat family available here / cat family babies available here

Wallpapered dollhouse dormers

Wallpapered dormers! This intimidated me so much, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. (I thought it would be impossible, and it turns out it was just mildly challenging. hehe) I did decide to caulk the corners of every room that wouldn’t receive wallpaper. It was easy and took care of any little cracks, making it look really nice and finished. It’s a good thing I have all of those random supplies already on hand (like wood glue, super glue, caulk, wood stain, and interior paint), or else I can see how all the costs would really add up!

Dollhouse Dining Room

How cute is this dining set! I made the table myself, and the chairs are vintage found on Etsy. I kind of want this to be my actual dining room!

Dollhouse Dining Room

So excited to get everything inside! I’ll share more progress soon. Thanks for following along!

My DIY Glitter Countertop!

DIY glitter countertop

You guys! I think all of the paint fumes around here are starting to get to me. I built a glitter countertop for our dining room. What could make that an even crazier prospect? Well, we are knee deep— no, make that eyeballs deep— in home renovations over here, and I decided it would be fun to build a glitter countertop right at the beginning of all the chaos! Phil and our dads are working on replacing the ant infested eaves of our home and also the gutters, while we’ve simultaneously been working on renovating our entire kitchen! So much good stuff for our house— so much bad stuff for my sanity. Anyway, amidst the planning for the new kitchen, I stumbled across a favorite antiques dealer of mine who was finally selling an old cabinet of his I had been eyeing for years! I had always sighed longingly at it when it was just an overstuffed display fixture at the antique mall, thinking about how perfect it would be to store all of my craft supplies out of sight in our dining room (my workspace). He gave me a deal for $300, so I immediately put it on layaway, then a month later brought it home.

The problem with the cabinet was, well… nothing as far as I was concerned. But I guess the fact that it had part of its front and all of its sides and top missing might have become an issue down the road. So I had to get out my saw and drill and finish the cabinet out with some new wood that completely clashed with the beautiful, old patina of the cabinet. It was a travesty, as you all bemoaned alongside me, but my friend Kyle helped me paint it a fresh coat of white, remove the broken glass knobs, and replace them with new ceramic ones. All it needed was a countertop!

I figured I could buy some lumber to frame out a new countertop similarly to our office countertop, so I headed off to the lumber yard. While I was there, inspiration struck. I thought— Hey, what if I made the countertop like a retro diner table top? Some funky laminate on top and aluminum banding around the edge? That would add the perfect amount of quirkiness to the beautiful antique cabinet! Of course, they didn’t have any laminate that fit the bill, nor any aluminum banding. So my DIY become a wee bit more complicated, but infinitely more fun! Did I tell you there were buckets of glitter involved?

DIY glitter countertopDIY glitter countertop

I built the countertop just as I had done in our office, and painted it a lemony yellow for an undercoat, in case any glitter didn’t cover certain spots, then the yellow would camouflage the mistakes. I’m glad I did that, because when I look closely at it now, I can see spots of that yellow paint showing through. After the countertop was built and painted, I got to work on the glitter. I decided to use an epoxy resin with glitter stirred in to give the countertop a durable finish with a transfixing, dimensional sparkle to it.

DIY glitter countertop

DIY glitter countertop

I used this epoxy resin which was a bit cheaper than others I had seen out there, and it worked great! To make the epoxy resin, you have to mix the resin with the hardener. The proportions must be exact, so I used plastic measuring cups that I could dispose of later. To begin, you mix equal parts of resin and hardener, stirring vigorously and constantly for four minutes. Then you transfer the mixture to a clean container and stir again for 4 minutes. Before stirring again, I quickly dumped the contents of my glitter bottle into the resin, then stirred.

DIY glitter countertop

DIY glitter countertop

After the last four minutes of stirring was complete, I poured the epoxy resin onto the countertop and spread it out with a wide painter’s edging blade. You supposedly have 20 minutes to work, but I found that it began getting tacky sooner than that, so I worked quickly.

DIY glitter countertop

Because I was planning on putting aluminum banding on the edge, I let the epoxy run over the edge. I wish I had covered it with duct tape, though, because I ended up having to sand away the drip marks to get my banding to sit flush with the edge of the counter. Duct tape would have just peeled off after about an hour or so of letting the resin set up, and then I wouldn’t have had any drip marks on the edge.

After spreading the resin, I sprinkled the top with glitter to cover any areas of yellow showing through. This prevented my epoxy resin from creating a shiny, glass-like surface, though, so the next day I decided to do another layer of epoxy resin and glitter. I’m so glad I did! It made all the difference.

Note: Do not pour your epoxy resin outside like I did! I got bugs in mine that I had to cut out with a blade. Most of the divets I made with the blade were filled in after the second coat of epoxy resin I did inside our house. But pouring inside was difficult because I had to make sure the toddler was nowhere to be found and that there was plenty of cardboard on the floor to catch drips.

DIY glitter countertop

Because our house was basically under construction, I left the countertop alone for about three weeks before working with it. It was a good idea to let it cure that long because of the two coats of resin I had done extended the curing time quite a bit. (I would set something onto the counter and have to pull hard to get it off because it was bonding with the resin!) So this week, the aluminum banding I had ordered from Outwater (ALU7777 on this page) came in, and Phil helped cut slits into the edge of the counter so we could attach the banding. We used a skill saw to cut the grooves and I applied construction adhesive to help the banding stay in place.

I love the way it turned out! The cabinet top is significantly higher than standard height (It originally was mounted as an upper cabinet/locker in an old store— hence the no sides or top thing.), so you can’t see the glitter until you are next to the cabinet, but you can see the beautiful aluminum banding, and I think it plays well against the more traditional feel of the cabinet itself.

DIY glitter countertop

It’s a nice surprise, though, when you go over to the cabinet to make a drink, and BAM! There’s a glitter countertop! Talk about a conversation starter!

Oh, and P.S. Maybe you’re not really into the idea of a glitter countertop or tabletop, but check it out! I made this abstract painting last week! It was my first time really attempting anything like this since art school, and even then, I had never done anything in this style. I shared my process over at A Beautiful Mess right here, and you can see how I framed it right here.

DIY Custom FramingI hope you all are doing well! I’m hoping to get back to more regular posting within the next week or so. Thanks for checking in on me! As always, you can see me in between posts here by checking out my updates at A Beautiful Mess!