Category: DIY

DIY Resource: HFH ReStore.

You might have heard of Habitat for Humanity, they “provide decent and affordable to low-income families around the world”, but have you heard about the Habitat for Humanity ReStores? Well I’m about to blow your mind because if you like thrift stores or are in the market for some new doorknobs the “Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.” Find one in your area HERE.


The Restore in my area recently moved to a new location and my dad and I went to go check it out because he needs another filing cabinet. Let me take you on a little tour.


Art for all tastes.


Need a light bulb? washer? dryer? microwave?






Need windows?


I went to the Azusa location so if you see something you like, and you are in the area, then I highly recommend you get over there ASAP!

A little side note: Since the stores are donation based you never know what you are going to find, last time I was at ReStore I found a vintage Polaroid Land Camera with flash for $5 bucks…It was a very exciting day for my vintage camera collection.

DIY: Test Tube Vases

Today I have a very simple houseplant project using Heartleaf Philodendron cuttings and test tube shot glasses.


For this simple windowsill test tube vase project you will need:

Philodendron Cuttings
I am using Heartleaf Philodendron.

Test Tube Shot Glasses

Rooting Powder

You will need to cut small enough cuttings off of your plant in order to stick out to your desired length. When you have cut the stems scrape off a small section of the tip and dampen with water. Dip the damp stem into the rooting powder and drop into the test tubes and fill with water. Refill the water as needed.


I’m going to be honest, I bought these test tubes on sale at Urban Outfitters with the intention of doing something like this, I wish it was because I had some crazy mad scientist party planned but alas I did not, I am just obsessed with propagating philodendron.


I love Philodendron for two reasons; the first being that it is very hardy, it really just needs some sunlight and water (added bonus it tells you when it needs water by getting droopy). The second reason is that propagates well, if you have two or three plants you will have unlimited cuttings because it grows super fast and gets real leggy.




I’ve had these little guys in their tubes for a few weeks now and they are happy as clams (if clams were plant cuttings living in water and sun).

What simple houseplant projects are making your home bright?

DIY: Boot Shapers


Here in Southern California we are experiencing “Sinter”, spring going by the name of winter. The weather doesn’t know what it is doing half of the time, one days it’s cold the next its almost hot…now I’m not complaining because I’d rather this than snow any day (sorry everyone else in the country) but regardless I want to wear my cute boots because the calendar says February and it is my right to wear cute boots in “winter” (even is it is too warm).

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The idea for this DIY was sparked by my boots spooning each other in my closet, now spooning may be appropriate in some situations but never when it comes to my boots.
I have been scoping out boot shapers for some time now and I have been unable to bring myself to spend $10 (or more) on things that I knew I could make.  Today inspiration came to me while I was pondering my spooning boots, I could use the packing pillows from all of my amazon purchases which I just didn’t have the hear to throw out!
With that spark this DIY was born, enjoy!

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You will need:

Duct Tape
Fabric Scissors
Packing Pillows
A Sewing Machine

Side note about the fabric: It was on sale at Ikea for $25 for an ENTIRE bolt of fabric…so now I will probably use this fabric for every functional sewing DIY I make (my kitchen curtains are already made from it).


Steps 1 and 2: Fold your packing pillows in half (if you have the individual perforated kind) and duct tape one end.

Steps 3 and 4: Put the untaped ends together and tape around the middle.

Your stuffers are done, you can stop here if you don’t feel like sewing…but it will be quick I promise.


Step 5: Cut 2 strips of fabric about 28 inches long and 6 inches across.

 I kind of guesstimated these measurements based on the size of my stuffers…it’s not exact but it works.


Step 6: Sew up the two long ends of your covers.

Now you may be thinking that you are making long skinny pillows…and you would be right.


Steps 7 and 8: Admire your freshly sewn covers and flip them right side out.

Steps 9 and 10: Put your stuffers into the cover and sew the ends.


Ta da!!!!
Now your boots won’t be caught spooning in your closet!

DIY: iPhone Tripod Mount.


 This DIY came on a whim…and I have to admit that I was making it up as I went along. The necessity for this little mount arose when I signed up for the new app: Vine…where you create super short videos which are almost like gifs. I needed a way to keep the phone in the same position the entire time so I made this thing.

Of course you can buy a real mount but why do that when you already have the supplies laying around (unless you threw out your iPhone box…oops). The project is simple enough it just takes a little bit of time and precision.

Find me on Vine!: MintGypsy

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You will need:

-the dividers from the inside of your iphone box

-a tripod (or just the mount part for the purposes of this project)


-a pencil

-tape (I went with white electrical tape for aesthetics)

-duct tape (or equally thick and strong tape)

-non skid stuff

-a rubber band (the thicker the better)

-some time


Step 1: Take the innerds of your box and prop your phone up against the lip with the most amount of  material sitting in front of it. Mark a line where your phone ends.


Step 2: Do the same thing on the other side.


Step 3: Cut as straight and smoothly as possible along the line you just made.


Step 4: Take a piece of the tape and place it on part you just cut with a little tape hanging over the edge.


Step 5: Take your smaller piece and place right on top of your larger piece make sure to fold the extra bit of tape so it butts up against the lip of the larger piece.

Step 6: (optional) Tape up the raw edges so it looks a little better.


Step 7: Take your non skid and measure out two pieces that will fit snugly in the underside of lipped box innerds.

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Step 8: Tape the first piece directly into the underside.

Step 9: Take two small pieces of duct tape and place them directly onto the first piece of non skid. Attach the second square to the duct tape.

This is to make the underside thicker so it sits more flush to the tripod…the non skid helps it stay in place.


Step 10: Tape the raw edge of the underside and non skid. 


Step 11: Cut a small piece of non skid and a piece of duct tape and put them between the two lips.


Step 12: Attach your new mount to the top of your tripod with your rubber band.


Step 13: Insert your phone.


Step 14: Start taking pictures!

Now as with most of my camera DIYs this little mount will NOT win any beauty contests but it will serve its purpose!

DIY: Velvet Shoelaces.


This project came to me on a whim because I could only find one of the black shoelaces for my “Foc Fartins” (fake Doc Martins) and I have an excess of velvet scraps.


For this project you will need:

2 strips of velvet cut on the bias (the stretchiest direction of the fabric)

duct tape

about 15 minutes

My strips were about 26 inches long and about 2 inches wide…but you can make them as long as you like but I wouldn’t suggest a thinner width than 1 1/2 inches for the velvet because the thinner it is the quicker it will fray down to velvet dust. Also, the thicker width will allow the velvet to fold under itself so there is no sewing necessary. woohoo!


Step 1. Make sure the ends of the velvet are cut straight across.

Step 2. Rip a piece of duct tape for the aglets (the ends of the shoelaces…you learn something new everyday!)
I actually ripped my duct tape square into two thinner strips because I wanted thinner aglets.


Step 3. Roll up the ends of your velvet as tight as you can and wrap the duct tape around the end.
I only used half of the strip because I did not want the aglets to be big fatties. You will have to eye it depending on how large your grommets (shoelace holes…see you are still learning) are.


Step 4. Wrap the other side.


Step 5. Lace yours shoes back up.
(The velvet is black but for some reason whenever I photograph velvet close up it confuses the camera.)


Step 6. Admire your handiwork.

DIY: Instax Holga Macro Lens Kit Problem Solving.

For my birthday I received a Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera, it is basically a Polaroid camera that takes credit card sized photos.  For Christmas I received a Holga  Macro Lens Kit for my Instax camera…because I really need more ways to take a picture.


I was so excited to try these little lenses out but unfortunately ALL of the pictures I took were terrible blurry messes (and the film is not very cheap)…so after being sad for a bit I decided to search the interwebs for solutions and what I found was an overwhelming warning to measure the distance of from your lens to the subject which sounds simple enough…but who has a ruler handy all of the time?

This problem gave birth to my super simple solution and hopefully if you have the same niche problems that I have then this simple DIY will save you heartache and money.


To solve your distance problems you need to first figure out exactly how far each lens will allow you to be (I wrote the distance in silver sharpie on each lens…in inches because I am american and I was taught to reject the already given millimeters.) You will then need to rustle up:

1. A measuring tape (preferably plastic coated)

2. Scissors

3. Tape.


Step 1: cut your measuring tape a little longer than your longest distance lens…mine is 19.68 inches so I cut the tape at 23 inches.

Step 2: Tape it to the bottom of your camera making sure that the tape crosses over the middle of your lens.

Step 3. Find things to photograph.



When I need to use less measuring tape I just hold the right distance to the bottom of the camera, measure out the distance and then drop the tape.



Boom! And now you don’t have to worry about wasting precious film on blurry messes!

DIY: Bunting Advent Calendar


My favorite advent calendar is a a small tree that sits on a music box with 24 tiny drawers. In each little drawer there is a little holiday related ornament…I remember when my mom brought this tree home and let my brother and I set the tree  up. We were both extremely excited to have our turn to put an ornament on the tree (and sometimes we would try to steal eachothers turns)…this tree has been the subject of a number of sibling spats I shared with my brother (all in the spirit of Christmas of course)…but nevertheless…I still love it…and look forward to it every year.

It was this advent tree, my current obsession with making some kind of holiday bunting (I don’t even know where it came from…it’s weird), and the amazing inspiration Advent Calendars (posted yesterday) that helped inspire my DIY Bunting and Ornament Advent Calendar…I am more than excited about how well it turned out and I hope you enjoy it too!


You will need:

7 1/2 inch wide strips of felt
(or one long one whatever floats your boat)

About 10 ft of ribbon, or lace, or string

A Ruler

Permanent Markers
(in your colors of choice)

Fabric Scissors

A few pins


Holiday Packing Labels
(I got 130 labels at the Dollar Store for $1)


24 Ornaments or knickknacks you have

24 ornament hooks
(If your ornaments or knickknacks don’t have a way to hang on a tree)

A tree or something to hang your ornaments on


As I am just starting out on my “big girl” adventures I do not have an established set of ornaments so instead of going out and buying a bunch of matching ones that don’t mean anything to me I searched through my jars and tins of knickknacks and lo and behold I was able to scrounge up an eclectic bunch of ornaments. I think this makes this Advent Calendar more special because I have a story for every ornament I have.
(I am also using a 2ft tall fake tree so I needed small things.)

Let the tutorial commence!


Step 1. Measure out your desired triangle…there is no real science to it…I just tried to make a relatively even triangle…it does not need to be perfect…especially if you use felt.


Step 2. Mark out 24 (or more to be safe) triangles on your felt with a similar color.


Step 3. Cut out all of your triangles and find the best 24.
(some of my triangles are finished because I bought two large santa bags from the Dollar Tree and opened them for fabric)


Step 4. Plan out your pattern…in my case I had more green fabric so I doubled the green triangles.


Step 5. Pin your first triangle to your lace or ribbon.


Step 6. Turn on some music and start sewing. I found it was easiest to start with the pinned triangle and then just add the triangles along the way instead of pinning all of them…this also made dealing with the other 8 ft of lace much easier.

To finish the lace edges I flipped them under and made a loop at either end so it would be easier to hang in the future.


Step 7. Step back and marvel at how good your bunting looks.


Step 8. Bust out those labels and markers.


Step 9. Number 24 of the labels to your hearts desire…I like the look of hand drawn (and I didn’t have any extra printer labels) but you can print out your numbers if you so desire.


Step 10. Stick those bad boys on your bunting.
(If you are using Dollar Store labels I suggest being extra careful when you pull them off of the sheet because they are in fact cheap and I did tear number 1…now it has character.)


Step 11. Plan out where your different ornaments will go…in my case I put the heaviest at the front of the line because I was worried that I would wake up to a advent calendar bunting disaster.


Step 12. Tape the bajeezuz out of those ornaments and make sure that they aren’t going anywhere until you get to put them on your tree.
(I ended up not taping my first two ornaments to the bunting because they were too heavy).


I am overjoyed at the result…it came out exactly as I imagined! I am pretty excited about the post possibilities that will come out of this DIY…ornament story time perhaps? a gif? The possibilities are endless!

Did you like this DIY? Tell me!

Did you make something similar? Show me!

Do you want high five? HERE YOU GO! *high five*