Archives for category: DIY & Tutorials

In case you’ve been under a rock the past five years, Vera Bradley is seemingly an essential piece of wardrobe in a lot of women’s closets. Honestly, when I first saw the prints I hated them, but after re-modeling a lot of their patterns and bringing in fresh ones every season, they have me hooked.

Needless to say, I use my ID/Wallet/Phone holder a lot. I used it at school every day, so it got pretty dingy. Not to mention, it’s black & white, so the white on the inside was a stark contrast to the outside.

About two weeks ago, I decided this had infuriated me enough to sit down and try to find some reasonable ways to clean it…without having to buy a specific cleaner. I already have a Coach cleaner, do I really need another?

A lot of sites on the web told me to not put in the wash..or to put it in the wash. Many said the use of a washing machine would bend the cardboard inside to the point where it won’t stay straight anymore. Now, before you all rush off buying the shampoo, you need to know that you don’t need a washing machine to do this. In fact…you just need water, a cloth, and a small amount of detergent.

I decided to use a Woolite travel packet, because I have a small rubbermaid full of them (seriously, I love these things, they work great). You can find them virtually anywhere and are perfect for college students, since it’s a lot less expensive than buying a full container of Woolite. One packet is good for a full load of hand-washed laundry, which is great for sweaters when you live in New England, like me.

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A little sneak preview of what my much-loved Vera Bradley wallet looks like, comparable to what the inside looks like:

Eewwww so dirty!! Image

Honestly? After I took that picture, I immediately started filling up my bathroom sink with warm water & Woolite. I then just proceeded to plunge the wallet into the sink, to hell with cardboard consequences!

So I took a dark colored washcloth (that I use for all my little washing projects that can’t just be tossed in the washer; ie dog toys). Dipping the cloth in the sudsy water, I scrubbed the entire wallet down, dunked it again, then scrubbed a second time.

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(Excuse the nails, work was brutal on them)

After I rinsed out the wallet, I squeezed it a little, taking care to not actually bend the wallet in case the cardboard was at it’s breaking point. I then laid out a dry towel on my armoire and left the wallet open face down to dry overnight.

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At first, I was a little worried because it didn’t look like it had thoroughly cleaned anything on the wallet. But the next afternoon, I was surprised to see how clean it was! I mean, you can clearly see the dirt when you rinse off your wallet after scrubbing it, but look at the difference!!

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I’m thoroughly impressed with how clean it came out. I did use a lot of Woolite, but last night I washed a second wallet, 2 lanyards, and 2 of my mother’s id cases and they came out just as well. I don’t know how well it would work with bargain brand detergent, because I always find Woolite gets things cleaner than normal, but you can always try!!

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If you have been on Pinterest, most likely you’ve seen variations of the following DIY. A main problem is that it doesn’t actually have a link up to show you step by step on how to construct this awesome (and kid friendly) DIY. And, trust me, it’s not as easy as painting a glass or candlestick with elmers glue.

I first took on this project about a month ago when I sauntered into my local Christmas Tree Store and found an entire section of Mason Jars. Obviously I bought about ten, at about 80 cents a pop (which is the cheapest I’ve seen in the Massachusetts area). I had Elmers glue, food coloring, and a couple random paintbrushes so I thought “Hey! This won’t be so hard…”

I wasn’t half wrong, either. I was mostly right, only there’s a slight science on how to do this. First off, you’ll need the following supplies:

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  • Elmers Glue
  • Food dye (I bought mine for $1 at the dollar store)
  • Paint brush (NOT a foam brush, trust me)
  • Paper plate or newspaper
  • Mason jar
  • No-flame candle for lighting (not shown)

The (1) first step is to get your color glue going. First, drop about a dime size amount of glue onto the plate (I did more than that, but I also did a couple candlesticks that I, unfortunately, did not get pictures of). (2)/(3) Then you want to to 2-3 drops of the food dye of your choice. Since I was going for purple, I did 2 drops of blue and 3 drops of red.

(4)Mix these together to form the color you want. Obviously, the purple is dark, but if you use the end of your paintbrush, you’ll be able to see the color if you wipe it on a paper towel.

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Your next step is to simply paint paint paint! This is a great craft for kids, because there are no lines & it’s Elmers glue, so you know it’s going to wash off. If you have a smooth surface to paint on, that’s great, but the mason jars I found are actually engraved so you have to work the tiniest bit harder to get into those grooves. You can choose to paint the bottom or the rim, but it’s up to you. I choose to paint the rim because I usually don’t top it off with the lid when I have the candle in there.

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Warning: If you glob on the Elmers, be prepared for drips & for it to take a lot longer to dry. Some is okay, because when lit it will give a different glow (the yellow one below is a drip one, for instance, the blue isn’t). Again, all up to you.

Let sit & dry, drop a LED/flameless tea candle in there and let it glow! (ps; should take an hour to dry)

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Oh and for the price tag?

Mason Jar: 80 cents
Food dye: $1.00/package
LED Candle: $1.99/eight package (Christmas Tree Store)
Paintbrush: $4.29 for an ‘artists’ package (Michaels)

Total: $8.08

So, I’m a craft nut. If it can be made, I’ll probably make it. 

If it has anything to do with anchors or the ocean, I’ll also probably make it. So I went to Michaels Craft Store two days ago because I had a laundry list of things I wanted to pick up. About four projects in total, to be exact. The first was a coaster set, which are basically done (and super easy), the second and third were nautical rope bracelets & headbands. Neither of these I can do, as of yet, because Michaels has nothing in the way of rope cord or anchor charms (or, for that matter, crimping beads..I mean, c’mon?!). So I picked up the fourth project, which is below. 

 

I saw block anchors on Pinterest awhile ago, but decided to do my own version in white & an ocean-teal (Craftsmart’s Ocean Breeze to be exact). 

It’s a fairly simple project I did in under a day. I sanded down part of the oval block first, because some of it wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked. Then I traced an outline of an anchor with a pencil onto the plain block. I already had a wooden anchor that I used, but anyone else can simply Google an anchor drawing & print it. Or free-hand. Either way. 

I then used a thin-ish paint brush (the cheap kind you get in the pack with the sponge brushes, I paid $4 for mine) and used white acrylic paint to outline the anchor (Photo 1) 

 

I then painted inside the anchor and used the ocean breeze to carefully outline the outside of the anchor, then painted again. I did a double coat of both, then used a sealer to..well..seal it. Since the back of the wooden piece had no wall hanging, I just stuck some 3M mounts onto the back. It doesn’t weigh much, so it stays. 

 

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