The Pinterest Project Day 30: Digital Scrapbooking

I’ve spent the weekend and a crafting and quilting retreat where I have worked on my scrapbooks. I’ve been transitioning from traditional scrapbooking with paper and large totes full of supplies. The digital version is very flexible on the outcome, and involves hauling a laptop. How is the outcome flexible? Digital scrapbookers can create a purely digital finished product on a disk. Or, they can print 12×12 (and other sized) pages to slide into a traditional scrapbook. Or, they can order fully bound books from sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish. 

Digital scrapbookers can choose from a host of programs to design their pages as well. I have chosen to use Photoshop Elements because it offers the most flexibility in design and editing. This means, I have to figure out where to get some cool graphics. 

Pinterest has a heap of links to free graphics. One of the popular pinned sites is Granny Enchanted. The site has free downloads that can be used in designing pages. I follow the owner of the blog to get the most recent posts of free downloads.

Newsletters such as Collect-A-Kit and Scrap Girls offer daily freebies to download and store for future use.

Pinterest is full of page layout ideas, links to scrapbook sites, and more. It’s a whole new phase of crafting, and highly addictive for the techie type. I know. Because I am one. And now, I shall go to Pinterest to see if they have a Digital Scrapbookers Anonymous.

The Pinterest Project Day 29: Organizing a Sewing Area

Pinterest is a place for building envy if you aren’t careful. The site is full of home sewing areas to drool over, and wish for. However, I don’t have such a space in my home.

This room featured on the blog Sew Many Ways is awesome!

And the Creative Living Blog has this cute little closet turned into a sewing space.

On the day 28 Pinterest Project, I created a case for my iPad keyboard in 30 minutes. This is possible only because I have my space organized and ready to go when I need to sew something quick.

I have converted our old television armoire into a sewing center. I mounted an under-cabinet fluorescent light and mounted it inside. I also recycled an old cutting board and turned it into a pullout shelf for the sewing machine. At the time I made it (a long time ago), I didn’t take pictures of my method, but basically, I used pieces of scrap lumber to create a frame on either side (like a groove) that would allow me to pull out the board and slide it back in.

 The cabinet is in the dining room where I can pull open the doors and use the table surface. For big projects, I pull the sewing machine out and do the project on the dining table, but this is awesome for small projects and mending.

Pictures always make something look more cluttered! And that chandelier kind of got in the way. Someday, I’m going to paint the inside white. The doors are dark inside because I experimented before deciding on a faux finish for the outside. I went with the light color for the outside, but never fixed the inside.

In many ways, Pinterest is a dangerous place for wishing we had something we don’t. But you can see from my example that adapting and flexing can be very satisfying. If I had a bigger space, I’d probably feel guilty for never having time to use it!

The Pinterest Project Day 28: iPad Keyboard Case in 30 Minutes

I searched Pinterest for a pattern for a case for a bluetooth iPad keyboard. I had been transporting it in the box it came in, just because my purse is a dangerous place for an unprotected electronic device. However, the box is too big to take on my upcoming vacation.

Nothing came up in my search. So I decided I need to create a post. In 30 minutes, because that’s all I had between other tasks. That meant I didn’t have time to quilt or cut anything from fresh fabric. So, I brainstormed a little about what I already had on hand, and I remembered two older pillow shams put away in a trunk. 

I decided to experiment with the most worn pillow sham so nothing would be wasted if I didn’t like it. And I would have more supplies to make a better one in the future.

I figured I could use a piece of the sham, and have leftover.

I began with precise measurements. Ahem. I began by folding the fabric up over the keyboard to get an idea of how much fabric I needed. I allowed enough extra for a flap. Then I cut off the sham (about half of the sham) and hemmed the raw edge.

Hemmed edge.

 I folded down the edge I wanted for a flap. Then, I folded everything in half rights sides together (see photo below).

The fold goes the long way, and at this point, the sham is still full width. Next, I laid the keyboard on top of the folded sham to measure the width. Note my precision. Cough.

I cut off each end, allowing a generous seam allowance. Then, I left everything as it was folded right sides together, and stitched both sides up. I never pin anything, which is one of my greatest sewing pitfalls. Pin if you are smarter than I am.

I double sticthed the edge for better durability.

Since the pillow sham had the extra layer from the pillow pocket, I used that as a place to put a piece of craft foam for extra protection. I wiggled it around to get it where it belonged.

Then, I turned everything right side out, and put the keyboard in, keys facing the foam for protection.

The built in flap provides enough closure, but it could have velcro or a button.

Because I chose the most worn part of the pillow sham, I did have to hand stitch a couple of places where the quilting was coming apart. My plan is to do this with new fabric sometime, but this will get me by on my trip. 

Less than 30 minutes and I was done!

I’m calling this a neutral for the Pinterest Project Score, since there wasn’t a pattern on Pinterest and I had to create my own design. Evidence that you can’t exactly find everything you need on Pinterest.

The Pinterest Project Score
Successes – 21
Neutrals – 4
Fails – 3

The Pinterest Project Day 27: Homemade Lotion Bars

I’ve been using natural skin care and cosmetics for over a year now. I love lotion bars because they are so great for my skin. If you haven’t seen a lotion bar before, it looks like a bar of soap, but you rub it on your skin. Some come in something that looks like a deodorant stick, but others come in a little metal tin. I’ve been selling natural products on a small scale for a direct selling company, but even with my discount, the lotion bars were pricey.

When you use a lotion bar, the warmth of your skin melts off just the right amount of the lotion as you rub the bar on your skin.

So, I decided to see if there were recipes on Pinterest. The site did not disappoint. Since I knew I liked the ones I’ve been using, I looked for a recipe that used similar ingredients to the once listed on the tin. A post on a site called was the best recipe I could find.

I checked my local health foods store for ingredients, but they didn’t have everything in stock. So I went to Amazon and found what I needed at a very good price. Since then, I have also discovered a site called Camden Grey Essential Oils that has everything I need, including empty deodorant containers should I decide to make these bars in stick form in the future. The shipping on the site is a bit high, so be aware.

Anyway, here is the recipe I followed, including the slight modification I made by using vitamin E oil that was also almond oil. I shopped carefully based on customer feedback regarding quality of product, including odor. I wanted it to smell good. The organic coconut oil has a pleasant coconut smell. The stuff I find in the grocery store does not, but it is more refined.

Directions: Measure ingredients into a double boiler pan. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a small stainless steel bowl over a saucepan. My set came with a pan, so I used that.

For utensils, I used a silicone spatula. In a saucepan that fits your double boiler (usually the medium sized pan), boil about 2 inches of water, then turn it down to simmer. Now, set the double boiler on top, making sure that your water is not boiling so vigorously that you get water in your lotion bars. Do not melt in the microwave. I don’t know what it does, but the beeswax said not to melt it that way.

Part-way through the melting. It was soon clear.

It took about 5 minutes to melt, maybe 10. You’ll have a clear, light amber colored liquid. I used a big plastic serving spoon to fill my molds since there wasn’t a pouring spout on my double boiler. I purchased my silicone mold on Amazon. It’s sort of like a short muffin tin (like a large sized Reese’s Peanut Butter cup). This was the perfect size, since the recipe perfectly filled all 6 cups on the mold. Be sure to use a silicone mold so your bars pop right out.

Wait for the bars to harden for a few hours. The photo below is right after pouring them, so only edges are beginning to set. 

That is not steam on the bottom right corner. The reflection created some sort of hologram on my camera. Hmm…spooky.

One note: The directions said something about melting the ingredients in a covered jar in a pan of boiling water. This is not safe, because of the pressure. It also mentioned a blender or shaking the jar. I found it melted nice and clear, no blending needed, so I’m not sure what that was about.

To give your finished bars as gifts, you can wrap them in cellophane, use Ziploc baggies, or purchase metal tins at your hobby store. A 2.5 inch diameter tin fits my mold size. If you make square or rectangle bars, you can get an Altoid-style tin, or recycle a tin. Also, some of the disposable snack-sized containers in the kitchen supply department would work well.

When I was finished making my bars, I used the hot water in the double boiler to pour over the utensils in the sink, along with some dish soap. The hot water helps get the residue off, and then I ran them through the dishwasher. I didn’t want any of the wax or “butters” to gum up the dishwasher.

Total cost for the bars comes to about $1.40 per bar (had to guess because I can make more batches from some of the ingredients I purchased than from others. That’s less than 1/4 what I was paying for them.

Ready to try your own? Feel free to blog about it and post a link to your results in the comments below.

The Pinterest Project Score:
Successes – 21
Fails – 4
Neutral – 2

The Pinterest Project Day 18: Virtual Furniture Rearrangement

I love to rearrange the furniture! I do it often enough to drive my family crazy. After taking down the Christmas tree this month, I decided to make a few changes. And then today, I thought I would make a few additional modifications to make room for a new item. 

As I moved things, I wondered if there was some other way to decide on furniture placement without dragging it into an arrangement only to shuffle it all around again.

A Pinterest post featured a free virtual arranger. I took a few minutes to play with it, and it was kind of fun. You can save your arrangement to come back to it and make changes in the future. 

Check out MyDeco 3-D Room Planner.

You can specify the dimensions of your room, place windows and doors, and add paint and carpet. There are hundreds of choices for furniture and accessories too.
It’s also a place to try out new paint colors and flooring. And if you get the itch to rearrange too often, just stop by the site and play a little–do some virtual rearranging.

There are additional sites that allow you to do some virtual decorating. Check out this blog post on 10 Best Free Online Virtual Room Programs and Tools from Freshome Design and Architecture. These sites have fantastic options.

Pinterest Project Score:
Sucesses – 14
Fails – 3
Neutral – 1

Pinterest Project Day 17: Trash Bag Dispenser

Someday, I will do a Pinterest experiment with project that take more time. But for now, I’ve been experimenting with short projects. Today, I tried a trash bag dispenser I saw on Pinterest. If you have been following my “project” for all 17 days, by now you know I don’t really follow directions. Can you say controlling? 

Anyhoo, I saw the picture of this project and figured I knew how to do it. However, afterwards I discovered that the sample and the directions lead to something a bit more durable. Ahem. Next time, I shall not hurry. But for now, here’s the project already [I know, you were wondering if I would ever stop talking]. 

Here is the project from the blog Tatertots and Jello:

These are recycled containers from Lysol wipes, or baby wipes. The instructions show how to cover each in fabric with decoupage glue. The site also gives wonderful detailed instructions on how to roll used shopping bags to put into the dispenser. About 12 bags for each.

 Be sure to check out the full post for all the details.

This is great for  trash bags in the car, under the bathroom sink, at the office, etc. It’s pretty, yet functional. Now for my version.

Like I said, I was in a hurry. I just slapped a piece of 6×12 paper on with 2-sided tape (half of a 12×12 piece of scrapbook paper). I don’t imagine this will hold up to much use, so I recommend the directions above!

I just stuffed my bags in, but as I was doing so, I thought it would be smart to make them connect. With my method, I only got five bags stuffed in there. Next time, I shall follow directions.

Quick and fun.

The Pinterest Project Score:
Successes – 13
Fails – 3
Neutral – 1

The Pinterest Project Day 15: Necklace Remake

I saw a project on Pinterest using dollar store supplies that inspired me to make over some of my jewelry. I will have to scrounge through some of my stuff for additional ideas, but for my daily Pinterest Project, I decided to try it  with a quick sample.

The post that inspired me on Dollar Store Crafts suggested taking a bead or pearl necklace and doubling it in half, attaching ribbon, and adding other embellishments from your own jewelry box. On the sample from Dollar Store Crafts, they tied the ribbon on in such a way to make it single stranded (covered their knot with an embellishment). I decided just to double the ribbon.

Here is the sample that inspired me:

 And, here is what I did (complete with blurry focus and bad lighting):

I had a long necklace that has white faceted beads and silver accents. It’s really long, and I think I have only worn it once. I had picked it up once on clearance for a dollar or two. I also grabbed two of my pins for inspiration.

 I “folded” the necklace in half and tied a ribbon onto each end. Then, I attached a pin on one side for an accent.

 I know the photos aren’t so great. It’s after ten at night, so I make no promises about photo quality. Yours will be so much more fabulous if you borrow the same idea.

What I like is that this is a temporary project. I could easily unpin the bee and untie the ribbons. 

Pinterest Project Score: 
Successes – 12
Fails – 3

The Pinterest Project Day 14: Button Bracelet

It’s Day 15 today, but this is a post from yesterday. Shh, don’t tell anyone I was late with day 14. I fell asleep in my comfy chair while browsing through Pinterest looking for a project to try. I decided on a button bracelet just before dozing off, but that’s as far as I got.

This morning, I chose some buttons from my craft stash and got out the hemp cord that I already had on hand. It took only 20 minutes to follow the directions from Hope Studios to recreate Jennifer’s project.

Here is Jennifer’s version from her blog:

I assembled my supplies, which are so minimal that it makes this a fantastic project.

 Then, I followed Jennifer’s directions on Hope Studios. Here is what I ended up with. It’s a tiny bit too long, so I probably added one too many buttons, but I can hook the loop on the 2nd button if needed. Also, when you tie your loop at the beginning, be sure it can slip over the last button you plan to use. This is your clasp. If you make it too big, that can be a problem too.

Here is what it looks like on my arm. It also looks like a “before” picture for an advertisement for hairy arms. Perhaps my next Pinterest project ought to be something on solutions for scary hairy arms.

 Total time spent. 30 minutes. Including the time to blog about it.

Pinterest Project Score:
Successes – 11
Fails – 3

The PInterest Project Day 13: Kitchen Stand

If you’ve been following my Pinterest Project, you know that I’m trying, or evaluating some project or recommendation from Pinterest every day for 31 days. 

Since I’m a day behind on this post, I’ll make Day 13 a quick one. I saw a post about a cake stand used by the sink to hold dish soap and hand soap. The original post is on a blog called Natalme. Here is the photo from that blog:

It didn’t take me long ot duplicate it. I had a candle stand (remember the 3-wick candle years?) that I wasn’t using anymore for its intended purpose. I slapped a dishcloth in there and put my dish soap in an oil jar (it dispenses very slowly BTW). I added some hand soap and a sugar scrub for dry hands. 

A grainy picture because I took it in low light, but you get the idea. So much better than having clutter all over the sink edge?

Total success on that idea!

Pinterest Project Score:
Sucesses – 10
Fails – 3

The Pinterest Project Day 8: Reconditioning a Craft Cutting Mat

My Day 8 Pinterest Project sort of morphed into a Michelle project. This is because my perfectionist and hyper-controlling nature is to modify the instructions on just about everything I attempt. It’s a sickness, I know. But, I used Pinterest, the mecca of all things craft and DIY to see if there was a great method for reconditioning the cutting mats I use with my Silhouette machine.

I know, you may be thinking, who sits around wondering how to recondition their craft mats. Um. Weird people like me? Or you may be thinking, what’s a craft mat, and what’s a Silhouette?

Good questions! A Silhouette is a machine for cutting shapes. It’s like a printer, only with a blade instead of ink. You can cut out letters for crafts and scrapbooks, or make vinyl wall decals. 

Some people have something called a Cricut, but my Silhouette is a little different, in that you can design a shape on your computer and then cut it out. The machine uses little mats that remind me of the plastic I throw away regularly from inside packages of bacon. It’s similar to the plastic that milk jugs are made of too. Uh, perhaps I shouldn’t write blog posts when I’m hungry.

The plastic mat that comes from the factory is sticky. But it gets all gummed up with paper fuzz after a while. Yet, it needs to be a little sticky to hold the paper down while it is cutting your shape. Lightly sticky, like a Post-it note.

There are some nice tutorials online, like this one on the Imperfectly Beautiful blog on how to get those mats back in working order. This is a photo from that tutorial.

 Great post, but I needed the instructions for cleaning too. I found another one with instructions on a site called Michelle’s Adventures With Digital Creations that included cleaning and re-sticking. Who can go wrong with someone named Michelle?

I didn’t have all the supplies on hand for that method. I didn’t have a glue pen, and the idea of taking a glue pen and scribbling all over the whole mat to make it sticky again after cleaning seemed very labor intensive. So did painting on Tack-it-Over glue.
So, I came up with my own method. Here goes!

This is how the mat looked before. Some of what you see are scratches. But trust me, it was full of paper pieces and goo.

Goo Gone is a perfect solution. I sprayed it all over the mat and left it sit for a few minutes. 

Then, I used an old gift card to scrape the mat. You can use a scraper from pampered chef, or  special mat scraper than comes in your Cricut accessory kit. But the gift card works super.


After scraping, the fuzz and lint were gone, and the board was still a little tacky. This is okay. We need it a little sticky anyway. If yours needs a little more stickiness or if you purchased a mat that comes with no adhesive on it at all (a much cheaper option by the way compared to the ones that are specifically branded for your cutter), you’ll need some adhesive spray. 

This is the SIMPLEST method of adding adhesive.

This is the kind of thing you need. It’s repositionable adhesive. VERY important since you want light stickiness, not permanent adhesion. Your brand might be called temporary adhesive. This works too.

Give your mat a light spray when you are ready to use it and let it dry. Now, your mat is ready for many uses before needing another spray. After you get too many layers of spray buildup, repeat from step one above. 

I already had this adhesive on hand, since I had bought after market (been catching on to my motor-head hubby’s auto parts terminology, I guess) supplies and my extra mats came unstickified and included this handy can of spray.

Pinterest tip: I did find one tip on Pinterest on one of the tutorials. Tape the edges of the mat or cover them in a thin strip of paper so that they don’t get any adhesive on them when you spray. It’s better for the wheels of your cutter if the edges aren’t gummy when you feed it through. See? Pinterest is still worth something.

Now, I’m all ready for more crafting. They are scratched, but clean!

I’m going to call this a Pinterest success. Why? Because I just created a Pinterest pin to this post, in which I just demonstrated a method that works very well. And, because there are nuggets of help that can be mined from the other posts, as well.

Pinterest Project Score:
Fails – 3