diy {business cards}

I’ve been needing to make more business cards, but wanted to do something different than I had before. I envisioned using tags (the ones that look like manila file folders and have the reinforced hole at the top) and having simple, black type. I played around on the computer, trying to design something using Word (publishing layout) but never got anything I loved. I thought about printing on labels, and then sticking the labels to the tags. But that idea never really got me excited. What I really wanted was a stamp. I love stamps. I thought having a stamp would be multi-functional. I could use it for business cards and tags and different branding. It’d be perfect. I browsed Etsy, looking at custom stamps, but they were a little out of my price range. And the idea of committing to one stamp was just too much for me. What if I wanted to change it? Or what about when my domain name changes (I’m in the process of getting a new website!)… a stamp seemed so… permanent. How’s that for over-thinking?

So I did a good, old fashioned Google image search (for custom stamp business card), hoping for another option, and sure enough, a Design Sponge post came up near the top. I had my answer.

Tristan came home for lunch, and instead of being a good wife and sharing lunch together, I dashed to Staples to pick up my supply. Yes. Supply. Singular. Just one thing. And it’s quite possibly my most favorite crafting supply of the moment.

It’s a custom stamp kit.

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The one online was still a little more money than I wanted to spend (my Craig’s List sales money is only so big) but I figured I’d go and see what I found. I was thrilled when it was nearly $10 cheaper in the store than online!

You use those tweezers to pick out each letter and put it on the stamp thing. The letters are pretty small (there are two sizes- small and smaller). It takes some time to put on the letters on and get them lined up, but it wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought.

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I wrote out what I wanted to stamp. There are multiples of each letter, but I made sure I’d have enough to spell out what I wanted. I alternated sizes (bigger size on the first line, smaller next, bigger, smaller). You’re basically just spelling the words backwards.

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These are the larger letters. Or, as I said, small and smaller.

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You push them right onto the stamp thing. I centered mine. Or kind of centered it. The letters can kind of move once they’re on, so you can slide them around to get them lined up.

It comes with a stamp pad (in black) that worked really well. I did a couple test stamps on scrap paper and then went to town stamping my tags.

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Speaking of tags. You can find them at craft stores, but they’re cheaper at office supply stores. I think these were $5 for 100. Which is like 20 cents a business card. Totally doable.

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They’re called shipping tags and they’re great. A craft supply must have, if you ask me.

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They turned out even better than I imagined. I love them! The best way to get a clean, crisp stamp is to carefully put the stamp onto the paper (don’t let it shift around) and then give the top a nice little tap with your hand. Like a hammer.

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Aren’t they great?! I really love them. And the stamp in multi-functional! I’ll use it for tags and other crafts. The set also came with another stamp thing, so I can make another one! The ideas are just swirling around my head.

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I’m going to make a branch tree of sorts, to hang the tags from. For now they’re hanging from a jewelry hook hanger tree thing I got at thrift store and (shockingly) spray painted gold!

I’m so happy with my business cards. They’re easy to make and the stamp in multi-functional. And if I need to change it, I can! I have a feeling I’m going to be stamping a lot of things around here!

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when someone gives you a brick….

… don’t get mad… get crafty?!

A couple months ago, someone gave us a brick. By way of throwing it. At our windshield. So for a couple months, we’ve had this lone brick sitting around our house. I’ve seen bricks dressed up and used in different ways, most often as book ends. But it didn’t occur to me until I saw this post on craftgawker that I should turn our gifted brick into something fun. When life hands you lemons…. you know!

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the brick before

I slapped some white paint on it (acrylic craft paint- if it was warmer I would have spray painted it gold) and then sat staring at it, unsure what to do next. I started making black polka dots on it, but didn’t like it, so I wiped the black off and painted it white again. I had white cotton clothesline sitting on my desk, and it caught my eye. I decided to wrap it around the brick. I just winged it and ended up wrapping it in stripes.

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Who would have thought that a brick that withstands being thrown at a windshield (and busting the windshield) would break when I start wrapping rope around it. And did you know that hot glue doesn’t really stick to bricks.. or maybe it was the paint that was on the brick. Either way, I’ll be honest and say this project, which was supposed to be simple and quick, didn’t quite go as planned! The rope holds the broken brick together, but it needs to be handled gently. I never thought I’d say to Gabe, “Be careful with the brick.. it’s fragile!” If I made another one, I’d use different paint (either spray paint or latex wall paint) because the acrylic craft paint got kind of chalky, weird feeling.

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But the end result is kind of fun. And it adds a little something to the books in my crates. And the brick has a story.

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Perhaps you’ve never been gifted a brick. Don’t feel left out. You can probably buy them at a place like Home Depot. You could make a ton of brick bookends for what a gifted brick ends up costing!

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I guess it’s not technically a book end if it sits on top of the books!

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I like the different textures of the painted brick and the rope. I hope you’ve never been gifted a brick the way we were. Have any of you gotten crafty with bricks? What did you make?

diy {coffee sack pattern art… with a printable stencil!}

Happy Monday! If you’re here for the first time and you came from Craftgawker or Pinterest (or anywhere else for that matter), I’m so glad you’re here. I know people always write that. But really. Being artsy-fartsy (a la Pam Beasley, according to Roy on the Booze Cruise.. any other Office people out there?!) is so much fun and so is sharing ideas and making new friends. So welcome. I really am glad you’re here! And if you’re a returning friend, I’m glad you came back!

Nothing like getting cozy inside during a freak spring snowstorm to get you in the crafty mood. Speaking of snow in the spring.. does anyone else feel a little conflicted about this? We live in Virginia. This isn’t supposed to happen. It’s kinda like Christmas music before Thanksgiving. You love Christmas music, but something feels a little off about reindeer before turkey, you know? I love snow, but snow covering my daffodil (yes, there’s just one) feels a little off.

Anyway, while we sat inside near the fire, watching The Tigger Movie for the first, nope, make that second, time yesterday afternoon (it happens when the kid figures out how to use the Roku remote), I got an urge to make something. I wanted to add some black accents/black and white art/something graphic to the shelf above our bed. I love the pattern that’s seen on burlap coffee sacks. (And if you saw this post, you know my affinity for burlap coffee sacks!) So yesterday, I set out to make some simple art using that pattern, while singing along to “Everybody wants to be a Tigger…”

It took some trial and error to get the stencil right for the pattern. To save you some time so you can sip your coffee and browse my little blog, there’s a link to a pdf file with the stencil below!

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What You Need:

A canvas (mine is 14×18 inches)

The stencil and scissors (click the link below for the pdf file of the stencil)

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A pencil or erasable marker

Paint and a brush

A ruler/yardstick

(A side note on the canvas- I often find mine at thrift stores. They’re really cheap. I feel a little bad painting over someone else’s art. But it was, after-all, donated to a thrift store. Since I’m reusing a canvas, I also needed some white paint to give my canvas a fresh, new life.)

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What You Do:

1. If your canvas isn’t white already, paint it white. Or you could paint it whatever color you want for the background.

2. I used a yardstick to measure and then draw a line down the center of the canvas. It was a guide to make sure the pattern was straight.

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3. Then I started tracing the stencil. You’ll notice I started with half the stencil at the top. I traced half the stencil and then when I was painting, rounded it off. You can do your pattern however you want. I traced until the bottom, then drew three circles. (My pattern was half stencil on the right, two full stencils, half on the left, two full stencils etc etc.)

4. To get the bottom ‘leaf’ I traced half the stencil, and then eye balled it and made a little ‘tail’. Then drew three circles.

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5. Start painting. It took a couple coats of paint to fill it in.

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A side note about tracing the stencil… I used my erasable fabric marker. I recommend using something you can erase!

Once it dries, you have a nice new piece of art for your home, or to give as a gift!

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(The pattern inspiration)

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Looking all lovely and graphic on the shelf above our bed! To see how we made our headboard, check out this post.

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This guy isn’t conflicted about the snow at all. He loves it and sat gazing out the window while I took pictures this morning. “Mommy! My snow came back!”

Have you made any art lately? I’d love to see it! Leave a comment below.. or you can always email me at ricedesignblog (at) gmail (dot) com. I really do like to hear from you!

diy {burlap coffee sack art}

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If you’re ever in a thrift store and see burlap coffee sacks, buy them. Don’t think about it. Don’t inspect them. Run as quickly as you can to where they are and grab them. I wouldn’t even judge you if you pushed people out of the way (unless you’re pushing me, in which case, we might fight)! Then tuck them securely under your arm as you walk around the rest of the store with the a big smile on your face, while everything else you see pales in comparison. You have just found the ultimate thrifting treasure.

I scored some amazing burlap coffee sacks at the thrift store a while ago. So when I tell you what to do when you find some, I speak from experience. The time I found those coffee sacks was my best thrifting adventure ever. You’ve heard of a runner’s high, right? Well, find some burlap coffee sacks at the thrift store and you’ll experience a thrifting high. (It’s either that or the odor coming from the old upholstered sofa you’re standing beside.) You might think I’m being a bit dramatic. But let me remind you that we’re talking about burlap coffee sacks!

When you bring them home, you’ll want to display them proudly for everyone to see. There are a couple ways to do this. 

First, you can just grab some tiny silver sewing pins and tack the burlap right to your wall. I like to use 8 pins- one in each corner and then one in the middle on each side. This holds it nice and securely to the wall and looks just so lovely. I did this in our kitchen, beside my peg board pot rack.

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In our kitchen, beside the pot rack. You might notice this area looks a little different than when I posted about the pot rack here

If you want to get really fancy shmancy and give your burlap a proper dressing, find a big giant frame. Paint it nice and white (or leave it unpainted if it’s pretty). And then use your staple gun to attach the burlap to the back of the frame. You might have to trim the burlap, unless you just happen to find a frame that’s the perfect size.

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Burlap coffee sack art in the bathroom? Why not! This is in the downstairs/guest bath, hanging above some complimentary toiletry items for any guests (I need to restock). 5 star bed and breakfast right here.

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And this is in our living room. It’s the wall behind the TV. The framed burlap is a feed sack, not a coffee sack, but still great. I also have a framed rice bag, too. I intentionally hung the pictures very close to each other, to hide the breaker box that is behind that rice bag and floral picture (that my Grandma painted). 

You could also take your burlap coffee sack and stretch it around a canvas or canvas stretchers and use your staple gun to secure it on the back. This gives it a nice, crisp rectangular shape and looks lovely sitting on top of a dresser.

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This is another feed bag, stretched around a canvas, sitting on top of Tristan’s dresser. And I have his boutonniere from our wedding pinned to the burlap.

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Another wall in our living room. Another feed/fertilizer burlap sack stretched over canvas stretchers. I haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet. Eventually. I have tea lights in those mason jars (that won’t get lit until I hang the burlap)! (I found the feed/fertilizer sacks in my closet at my parents’ house. Thanks Mom!)

There are so many other things you can do with these things. Make a (itchy but so cute) pillow. Recover a chair seat. Make a curtain. Make a table runner. Make a giant floor cushion. Moral of the story: burlap coffee sacks are basically another form of gold.

Perhaps you haven’t hit the thrifting jackpot and can’t get your hands on any burlap coffee sacks. Fear not. You can make a knock off pretty easily!

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I made this last year, before my best thrifting adventure when I scored the coffee sacks. You can buy burlap by the yard at Walmart! This burlap was leftover from our wedding.

1. Cut a rectangle to whatever size you when. Then hem the edges to keep it from fraying.

2. This is a pattern that you see on many coffee sacks. I made a template of the ‘single leaf’ and the ‘double leaf’. Then I traced them over and over on the burlap with a marker. I just added a little tail to the bottom single leaf, then free handed the circles at the bottom.

3. Take regular craft paint and fill in the ‘leaves’ and circles! Make sure you have something behind the burlap because the paint goes through very easily.

4. If you have any letter stencils, you can also add some fun lettering to your art.

And just like that, you have your very own burlap coffee sack art. You know, until you hit the thrifting jackpot!

I’ve called a couple different coffee shops to see if they have any burlap sacks they were getting rid of. Unfortunately, most coffee shops now get their coffee in vacuum sealed bags. So I have yet to find a shop that has any burlap sacks. Maybe you’d have better luck at smaller, local coffee shops.

What do you think? Would you or have you decorated with burlap coffee sacks? Have a great Tuesday! I’d love to see you burlap art if you make any!

diy {a rope pot for my Jade tree}

The other day I wandered into Home Depot. I love hardware stores. I was excited to see their new big displays of plants. I had my change purse with me (that I take thrifting) and I knew I had enough to bring home a succulent. I picked up each plant, inspected each one from all angles, and finally settled on a charming little Jade. It’s cute and makes me happy.

I brought it home and was going to repot it, but the potting soil is frozen outside. Also, I didn’t really feel like repotting it. So a little laziness paired with frozen potting soil and the Jade sat in its little plastic pot, looking cute but a bit naked.

Then last night, I decided to give it a more dignified home. But I still didn’t want to repot it (and the soil was even more frozen), so I got a little creative.

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My cute little 4 inch Jade. $3.98 at Home Depot.

I sat the plastic pot on some aluminum foil and wrapped the foil loosely up the sides, making an aluminum foil pot for the plastic pot to sit in. This is to catch any water that drains through the soil, since the plastic pot has lots of holes in the bottom. (Which is good, because succulents don’t like drowning). I made the foil pot a little bigger than the plastic pot, so I can lift the plant out and get rid of any water that collects in the foil.

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Start making the foil pot like this, to avoid seams on the bottom that water could seep through. Wrap the foil loosely up the sides. 

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The foil pot. I’m patting myself on the back for taking these progress pictures!

Then I got out my cotton clothesline to make a rope pot for the foil covered plastic pot to sit inside. I started coiling it in a circle to make the bottom, gluing as I went. Then when I had a big enough bottom, I started working upward to make the sides. I was careful not to glue the rope to the aluminum foil. So, at this point I have a plastic pot, that sits inside a foil pot, that sits inside a rope pot. Does that makes sense?

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Cotton clothesline. The same thing I used in this post.

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You can also see that I made the rope pot a little taller than the plastic pot. 

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Charming, don’t you think? I love it. Stay tuned to see where this lovely thing is living!

Oh, and here’s the supply list…

A succulent plant in a plastic pot.

Aluminium foil.

Cotton clothesline.

Hot glue.

Have a great Monday, friends!

diy {guitar hooks}

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I used to get mad every time I cleaned up the office/craft room/guest room because there were 3 clunky guitar cases with no place to go. I’d grumble and shove them under the futon or in a corner. I know, such a big problem and inconvenience. A couple weeks ago, I was sitting on the sofa staring at a blank white wall and wondering what, if anything, I should hang on it. And then it came to me. The guitars!

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For around $5, we have 3 guitars hanging beautifully on the wall, not shoved in corners and under futons. And since they’re out in such easy access, they get played more frequently, too!

What You Need:

Tool Hooks. They’re just ‘U’ shaped hooks. They’d usually be used to hang shovels etc. in a shed. I found them at Walmart. Less than $2 a piece. One per guitar. (The ones Home Depot had were too small for the neck of a guitar, so make sure you get ones big enough to hold the guitar).

A board. I had a 52″ board that was going to be a shelf, but never used. It was the perfect size for the 3 guitars. (I painted the board white to blend in with the wall).

2 screws to attach the board to the wall (directly into the studs so you don’t have to use anchors).

A drill.

A level or just a good eye.

A husband who does all the work while you watch ‘The Office’.

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What You Do:

1. Decide where you want the guitars to hang. Then hang the board on the wall. Tristan centered it on the wall and screwed directly into the studs.

2. Since we were hanging 3 guitars, we knew the middle hook needed to be centered on the board. Tristan predrilled a hole for the hook and then twisted it in. We figured out how far apart we wanted the guitars to hang, and then he predrilled 2 more holes for the other hooks, and twisted them in.

3. Then hang the guitars and smile.

(I very lightly covered the screws that hold the board to the wall with some putty and then painted over them. Tristan assures me that we’ll still be able to unscrew the board from the wall when the time comes. It does look nicer and more seamless to hide the screw heads. If you want to get fancy, you could always sink the heads in a bit and then use those screw head cover sticker things to disguise them).

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And there you have it! A display that’s both pretty and functional… and cheap! Any guitar players out there? How do you store your guitars?

diy {how to hide a painted line that isn’t crisp}… and my office is partly black!

How’s that for a wordy title?!

I’ve started seeing a trend every time my sweet friend, Jill, comes over. After each visit (or sometimes during), I end up painting something black. Last week it was my whole kitchen. This week it was a section of the guest room/office/craft room. When Tristan came home and noticed something else fell victim to my black wall crush, I blamed Jill (sorry Jill)! But let’s be honest, I probably would have done it anyway. Just like with spray painting, it’s a rare occasion when I get an idea to paint a wall (or piece of furniture) and I’m actually able to stop myself.

So the other day, while Gabe was napping (and I should have been doing laundry), I decided to pull apart my workspace and paint around it. I pinned this image a while ago and it kept creeping into my mind. It was my inspiration.

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I mean, does that place just exude productivity or what?! I bet the person that works there gets a lot done.

I wanted my desk area to be painted similarly. I decided how much of the wall should be black, got my painters tape out and taped off the bottom portion of the wall. And in true gotta-get-this-done-no-time-to-measure form, I just eyeballed it to get a level line. I actually downloaded a level app on my iPhone, but when I couldn’t figure out how to use it in 5 seconds I deleted it. Patience is a virtue I might need to work on! Luckily, I’ve been honing my eyeballing skills for some years now, and I’m happy to report that the line is not slanted.

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This is what I was working with. Looks messy, right? You should have seen it the day before. I had literally emptied the entire closet and every drawer in the room so I could get really organized. And then I took 8 boxes to Goodwill. Much like painting, when I get the urge to purge, there’s not much that can stop me. Well, a bum back can stop me. So I’m thankful for a husband who can lift those 8 boxes into the car. Kuddos to me for remembering to take a before picture.

I decided I wanted the black to come 3/4 up the clipboards that hang above the shelf. So I made a mark on the wall while everything was hanging up, then took it all down and used that marking as a guide for where to put the tape.

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Extra kuddos for taking a process picture. You can also sort of see that I taped off the wall to the right of the window. I decided not to paint that wall, though.

It didn’t take long at all to paint this. When you’re painting with tape, remember to pull your brush away from the tape. You don’t want to push paint under the tape.

So once it was dry enough (more accurately, once I couldn’t wait any longer) I pulled the tape back. And was bummed to find this…

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Womp womp wooooomp. So much for a crisp line. The whole thing wasn’t this bad, but none of it was crisp. I thought about taking leftover wall paint and trying to touch it up, but that would’ve taken forever, been really tedious, and still wouldn’t give a perfectly crisp line.

So I decided to use some cotton clotheslines I had laying around and hide it, while also adding a little embellishment and texture! I thought about hot-glueing it to the wall, but I wasn’t sure if that would be easy to remove. So I opted for tiny, silver, sewing pins instead. They leave such minuscule holes in the wall and aren’t noticeable at all.

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This is the cotton clothesline I used. I’m pretty sure you can find it at Walmart. $3 for 100 yards or something crazy. Make sure you get the cotton kind, and not the nylon kind. It’s prettier.

I wrapped the end in some clear tape, then cut it on the tape. I thought this would keep it from unraveling. Then I just started tacking it to the wall, along the un-crisp tape line. I put a pin maybe every foot or so. Except at the corner. I put more around there to get the right angle.

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You can’t really see the rope from far away, unless you know it’s there or you’re looking for it.

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But once you get a little closer, it looks simply lovely! I love the added detail and texture.

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Isn’t it a nice touch? I’m quite glad the line wasn’t crisp because I’m not sure I would have thought to do this otherwise. And I just realized that one of the pictures I have on the clipboards has a photo of a room with a similar paint job! I must like this look.

And there you go! An unexpected mistake added a lovely detail to my new partially black workspace! If you ever pull back tape and are bummed to find an un-crisp line… fear not! I love finding creative solutions and this one might be a favorite.