Reverse Stenciled Signs

Before I get started, quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of the Silhouette Black Friday deals.


GO HERE and use code “CRAP” to take advantage of  the promotions before midnight tonight.

I love the look of neat and tidy text, but I sometimes don’t love the harshness of vinyl.  Maybe “harshness” isn’t the right word?  I dunno, but stay with me for a minute…

Remember how I used vinyl to stencil the art in the DIY Blogger House nursery?


I loved that project and it got me thinking about doing things in reverse.  So, when a friend asked me to recreate something she’d pinned, I went for it.

A board of some sort – I use 1/4” MDF.  It comes in a 2’ X 4’ sheet at Home Depot for about $3.50.  I have not found something as thin/affordable at Lowe’s.  All 3 signs you’ll see in this post came from the same sheet.
Vinyl lettering – I cut all of mine with my CAMEO.  The color of vinyl is not important.  You could probably even use stickers.
Craft paint in 2 colors
Sponge brush
Sandpaper and stain

Cut your MDF to size.  What size is not really important.  One of these signs was about 18 X 24 and the other two were closer to 15 X 24.

Apply a base coat of craft paint.  This is the color your lettering will end up.  I used white and off white.  I also watered down my paint, about half paint and half water.  You might not need to, but I was using some nasty old paint.  Open-mouthed smile


Once the paint is dry, apply vinyl lettering to the board.


Make sure the edges of the vinyl are sealed nicely.  Apply a coat of craft paint over the whole thing.


Scary, right?

Once the top coat of paint (or two) is dry, peel off the vinyl.


Whoa!  Different sign all of a sudden!  I may have dropped my phone in the toilet last week and lost some of my pictures.

You can for sure stop now, but I wanted something a little more worn.  I took some sandpaper to my project and roughed it up a little.


(I stopped after the sanding on this one.)

Still not quite right?

Apply some stain.  And stage the picture SUPER professionally. Then lose that picture when your phone goes swimming as well.


A little irony in the fact that one of my signs actually said “swim”?


He he he.

So, try using vinyl lettering as a reverse stencil.  I think you’ll love it.  It’s my new favorite thing.  And if you’re on my Christmas list, pretend like it’s your new favorite thing, too.  Open-mouthed smile

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Pocket Switchers Transforming Balls

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pocket Switchers for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


I recently received a box of Switchers Transforming Balls in the mail.  Switchers transforming balls convert from a rubber ball to a surprise easily…no instructions or pictures needed.

I knew what was in the box, and I know my kids, so I hid it.  I knew that if they saw what was inside, I would have 2 options:

Hear “MOMOMOMOMOMOMOM!  CAN WE PLAY WITH THOSE BALLS?” every 30 seconds for the rest of the day.


Give in and let them play.

I waited for a relatively calm afternoon when everyone’s homework was done and there were no sports practices to rush off to, and I cut open the box.

And I immediately had company of the 4 and 6 year old boy variety.


Campbell’s favorite was the shark “because it looks like a football” (and he’s currently obsessed with football).  Bennett’s favorite was the octopus, because it was the easiest to figure out how to transform.

My favorite part was that there are no batteries to replace and no annoying sounds.  They also seem like they’re little boy proof and won’t be missing an arm any time this week. Wait.  Fishes don’t have arms.  Neither do sharks.  Or octopi.  You know what I mean, right?  Winking smile

(Yes, Bennett wears mismatched socks most days.  Poor picked on 4th kid!)

The Switchers are recommended for age 5 and up.  Bennett is 4.5 and he struggled a little with the fish and the shark.  I think with a little more time he’d have figured them out, but sometimes over zealous older siblings don’t let you have more time.


The boys immediately ran upstairs to show my older kids the cool new toys.  Later, I even found one stashed in my purse in the middle of our football banquet.  Guess someone was worried the banquet would get boring?


Switchers are available in the check out aisle at your local Walmart.

I think I might leave the one in my purse.  You never know when you’re going to have to keep a kid occupied.  Or should I say octopi-ed?  Ha!

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Festive Front Porch

This month’s Lowe’s Creative Blogger team challenge was to create some holiday décor.  I decided to head outdoors (mostly because that didn’t require convincing BC to haul in bins or put up trees).  I went to Lowe’s and came home with this:


I’ve been buying my front door wreaths from Lowe’s for YEARS. They’re inexpensive (around $15) and they stay fresher than others I’ve purchased.  However, they come with a big old red velvet ribbon bow on them and that’s SUPER not my style.  The good news is that the bow is easily removed by undoing the wire on the back.

I saved the wire and reused it to make my new wreath embellishment, because I couldn’t find the wire I bought at Lowe’s last month I’m super eco-friendly. I cut the bottoms off of the tree picks and then wired them together and attached them to the wreath.


Much better!

Then, I used the drop cloth to make some pillows for my porch chairs.  I cut the hem off of one of the 4 foot edges and then cut an 18” strip the width of the drop cloth (so 4’ X 18” ish).  Both 18” ends should still have the factory hem on them.  Cut 12” (including the hem) off each end.  These pieces are for the envelope closure on the back of the pillow.  Square the remaining piece so it’s 18” X 18”.  The square piece is what you’re going to embellish.  I chose some Christmas word art from the Silhouette Online Store and cut it out of freezer paper with my Silhouette.  You can for sure do this with a craft/utility knife if you don’t have a cutting machine.  I ironed the freezer paper to my drop cloth square to create a stencil.


And then I taped around the edges


and gave it a coat of red spray paint.

Photo3 (1)

I used Valspar Gloss Classic Red.

After it dried, I peeled off the tape and freezer paper and assembled my pillow case.


And I loved it so much that I decided to make another one, only in reverse.


Kinda makes you want to sit down and visit, doesn’t it?  Well, except for the part where it’s frickin’ freezing outside and metal chairs are SUPER cold on the old rear end, right?


Maybe the festive-ness of the porch will rub off on the rest of my house?

A girl can dream, right?

Open-mouthed smile

Be sure to check out Lowes Creative Ideas and sign up for their free newsletter which is full of fun DIY projects.


*I was given a Lowe’s gift card for the supplies for my makeover.  All opinions and statements are my own.

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Gift Card Stockings


Let’s get real for a second here:  Sometimes Christmas sneaks up on me.  And, even though I had big plans in October, I have 2 days left before Christmas and I have to go the gift card route.  Plus, they mail nicely, right?

So, how can you give a cuter gift card?  Put it in a stocking, of course!  These babies are perfectly sized to hold a gift card or two


and would look darling hanging on your tree as ornaments


or tied atop a package as well.



Fabrics, 1 for the exterior and one for the lining.  I used Riley Blake small chevrons in green, red and aqua and Riley Blake small dots in green, red, and aqua as well.

Trims.  I used some red baby pom-poms and some Sew Together crocheted lace in red and aqua.

Print out of the pattern piece and cutting instructions which can be found HERE.


Cut out 2 exterior fabric stockings, facing opposite directions.  Cut out 2 lining fabric stockings, facing opposite directions.  In these images, the chevron fabric is the lining and the polka dot fabric is the exterior.  All seams 1/4” unless otherwise indicated.


With right sides together, place your lining fabrics on top of your exterior fabrics.  Sew along top edge of both sets as indicated by the lines in the image below.


Turn wrong sides together and press a crease along the top edge as shown.


Unfold.  Stack both pieces, right sides together, making sure lining is on top of lining and exterior is on top of exterior.

(You’ll want to line yours up completely.  I staggered them for illustration purposes.)


Leaving a small (1-2”) opening in the bottom of the lining fabric stocking for turning,


sew all the way around the edge.  I found that leaving the opening on the bottom flat part of the stocking “foot” worked best.

Clip your curves.


Turn the whole thing right sides out.


Press the exterior half.  You can press the lining half, too, if you want, but I didn’t find that it made any difference in the finished product.


Stitch the hole in the lining closed.  I used my machine since it’s inside a tiny stocking and no one is ever going to see it.  You could do it invisibly by hand if you’re a little bit nuts and enjoy stuff like that.  Open-mouthed smile


Tuck the lining down inside of the exterior fabric.  (This is when those creases you made along the tops of the stockings way back in the beginning comes in handy.)  Use a pencil with an eraser to tuck the lining all the way in if you need to.


Fold down the top of the stocking along the fold line indicated on the template and press.  Attach a loop of trim (you can sew it neatly under the cuff or hot glue it if you’re lazy pants) and you’re done!


And a whole row of them hanging together?


So cute nobody even cares what’s inside!

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You’ve all heard about the struggles we’ve had with family pictures in the past, right?

Needless to say, getting a family pic for holiday cards wasn’t exactly at the top of my to do list.  In fact, it wasn’t actually even on my to do list. Open-mouthed smile

So, when my pal Becca called and asked if I was interested in having some pictures done by her friend Daniel Silva, I was hesitant.  But, everyone had a decent haircut, so I agreed.  (Seriously…what are the odds of all six of us having good hair at the same time?  The universe wanted me to do this.  Or something.)

Here’s the concept:  PiCALITY wants to capture REAL memories.

It doesn’t make any sense…why go somewhere you have never been and try to create a false memory? Let’s go take awesome pics where you really do spend time as a family.

And, PiCALITY wants to keep it fast and affordable.

No one wants to spend a crazy amount of money for creating true family memories in photographs. We created an affordable price for photographing ‘For Real Memories’. In a 60-90 mins session we photograph any arrangement of pics. Whatever we can fit in that time with your family is yours. No additional charge for pose, groups, portraits, backdrops and etc. Its simple we take great photos in 45-90 mins and you take all edited pics (45-75 digital photos) on a flash drive.

Becca and Lara both had pictures done in their homes (and you can too…they turned out freaking fantastic!) but that’s not where we spend most of our time together.  We are always always always on the go.

Sometimes it’s lacrosse,



sometimes it’s football,



sometimes it’s basketball,



and sometimes you’re just along for the ride.



Welcome to our life.


Let’s try that again.

Welcome to our life.


It involves a lot of bleachers,



and a lot of crazy,


but it’s our PiCALITY (ba dum bum!).



So here’s the good news:

If you’re a Utah local who is also a procrastinator, you are in luck.

PiCALITY has appointments available that will get you a card worthy pic.  (Free Christmas card design for sessions between now at December 16th, but seriously…don’t wait clear ‘til the 16th.  That’s just asking for an ulcer.)  AND, if you get pictures done THIS WEEK (now thru December 1st), you can save $100 if you mention Crap I’ve Made.


Plus, it’s SUPER easy to schedule (especially if you hate the phone or only like to schedule things whilst you’re not wearing pants).  You can schedule from the PiCALITY Facebook page or on the PiCALITY website.  You can also give Daniel a call if none of the times listed will work for you.  Nice, right?

So…how’s your hair?

Open-mouthed smile

Disclosure:  I was provided with a PiCALITY photo session in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.  Daniel went WAY above and beyond and even allowed my kid to call him Bob.  The pictures don’t lie…this was a great experience.

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Silhouette Black Friday Promotions!

If you’ve been a fan of Silhouette and their products for a while, you KNOW this is the best sale of the year!  And this year?  You’ve got options!

YOU MUST USE THIS LINK and code CRAP to get the promotional prices from now through midnight EST on November 30th!



1 Silhouette CAMEO® plus 1 copy of Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition (MSRP $349.98) for $229.99



1 Silhouette Portrait™ for $179.99



40% off at!

(Offer only valid at Expires November 30, 2012. Rain checks not available.  40% discount excludes Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait™, downloads, download cards, subscriptions, and gift cards).

And, last of all, if your name is Anastasia, you should check your email before you make a purchase.  You won the Portrait giveaway. Open-mouthed smile

Happy shopping!

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Advent Ideas (+ my advent calendar)

If you’re here for the Silhouette Portrait giveaway, it’s one post down.  If you’re here for advent activity ideas, you’re in the right place.  Open-mouthed smile

When the nice folks at Silhouette asked me if I wanted to check out their 2012 Limited Edition Advent Calendar, I jumped at the chance.  I’d seen some pictures and knew it was darling and something I could switch around and leave up all year long.  (Seriously…click on that link and check out the one where they’ve printed and hung Instagram pics…I’m so doing that!)

For my Christmas version, I wanted something non-traditional.  You know, since I basically never do anything traditional.  I started with some ribbons I picked up at the American Crafts warehouse sale.

(Tangent:  If you are in the SLC area you MUST swing by the sale.  It’s in Jordan Landing in the old Petsmart.  I’ve already been twice and I don’t even like paper crafting.)

And then I dug through my washi tape until I found some that coordinated.


I busted out my Silhouette Portrait and cut out the shapes (from the download card included with the advent calendar).  I used one 12 X 12 sheet of each color of cardstock: white, gray, pink, lime, teal, and purple. I cut all the cards out of the white and then punched a hole and tied the tops with a 4” piece of ribbon.  For the colored card stock, I cut off a 4 X 12 strip from each piece and used that to cut the embellishments.  The chevron zig zags, the word “joy”, the large number 6 and the gray ornament on day 12 are the only things not included on the download card.  I cut the envelopes from the 8 X 12 piece.


Cute right?

Now we just need to figure out what activities to put in each one!


Put up the tree
Make an ornament
Have hot chocolate
Have a snowball (or sock ball if you don’t have snow) fight
Sing a Christmas song
Send Christmas cards
Build a snowman (out of marshmallows, if necessary)
Wrap presents
Make gift tags
Read a Christmas story
Read the Christmas story from the Bible
Do something nice for a family member
Do something nice for a stranger
Shop for Sub for Santa or an Angel Tree or Toys for Tots
Deliver treats to a neighbor
Watch a holiday movie
Make cookies
Go see the lights
Make paper snowflakes
Go sledding
Go see Santa
Take a Christmas picture (Santa hats and reindeer antlers optional but encouraged)
Go ice skating
Color pictures from a Christmas coloring book
Write letters to Santa
Hang a wreath on the front door
Put up a nativity/crèche
Mail a package to someone
Make your own wrapping paper (stamps or markers and a roll of craft paper)
Make a gingerbread house
Wear a Christmas sweater
Hang some mistletoe
Have reindeer pancakes
Eat a candy cane
Go caroling
String popcorn for the tree
Buy a poinsettia
Make paper poinsettias
Drink eggnog
Go see the Christmas decorations at the mall or in your town
Attend a local junior high/high school choir performance
Attend a local junior high/high school band or orchestra performance
Attend a dance recital
Call grandma and grandpa
Read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
Make luminaries
Go Christmas shopping
Wear something red and/or green
Buy Christmas jammies
Make Christmas candy
Shovel snow
Light a holiday scented candle
Volunteer at a food bank
Serve a meal at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter
Visit a rest home
Make a holiday mix tape (or CD Winking smile)
Look at Christmas pictures from years past
Watch/read/listen to A Christmas Carol (may I recommend the Muppet version?)
Tie jingle bells to your shoe laces
Make a snow angel
Hang stockings
Make a paper chain for the tree
Eat something covered in red and green sprinkles

Please, please, PLEASE feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!

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Giveaway: Silhouette Portrait

Have you heard the news?

Silhouette (you know ‘em, you love ‘em) has a new addition to their electronic personal cutter line, the Portrait.


The Portrait does all the same stuff as the CAMEO, just on smaller scale (3.5 lbs…perfect to take with you) and at a lower price point.  Nice, right?  I’ve had a chance to play with one over the last few days and it’s fantastic!


The controls are nice and accessible.


Want to see the Silhouette Portrait in action?  You can check out this Silhouette Portrait Video.

The nice folks at SIlhouette are giving one lucky Crap I’ve Made reader his/her very own Silhouette Portrait (plus the software, blade, mat, cables, download card, etc.)



Leave a comment on this post.


Follow Silhouette on Pinterest. Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST saying that you did.

Follow the Silhouette blog.  Come back and leave a comment ON THIS POST (on the blog, not on Facebook or in response to your email subscription) saying that you did.

***3 possible entries per person***

Giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and over only and closes Thursday, October 22th at 10pm MST.  Winner will be chosen at random using a WordPress Plugin (And The Winner Is…) and notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

I’m coming on to announce the winner at midnight EST on Thanksgiving.  I’ll also be posting the details on all the Silhouette Black Friday promotions at that time.  (No details yet, but trust me…they’re good.)  As always, code “CRAP” will get you the promotional prices.

Want to see what I’ve been working on with my Portrait?


That’s this year’s Silhouette Limited Edition Advent Calendar.  Details (along with advent ideas) tomorrow!

Here are some other gals giving away a Silhouette Cameo or Portrait this week too:

Infarrantly Creative

All Things Thrifty

I Heart Naptime

The Idea Room

Sawdust and Paperscraps

Southern Hospitality

Beneath my Heart

Today’s Creative Blog

Positively Splendid

Home Stories A to Z

Makely School for Girls

The DIY Show Off

Not Just a Housewife




Little Miss Momma

Make and Takes

Tip Junkie

Craft Gossip

Ali Edwards

My Repurposed Life

Craftaholics Anonymous

Our Best Bites

Simply Kierste

Petite Party Studio

Kevin and Amanda

Homemade by Jill

Vintage Revivals

Pretty Handy Girl

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Fall Wreath


When I was at Lowe’s last week, I spotted this cute little green linen wreath in their Christmas decorations.


I liked it, but I thought I might like it even more with some fall color.

I cut out a bunch of small leaves out of decorative papers with my Silhouette CAMEO.  They’re about 1.5”.  You could use a punch or die or cut them by hand as well.


Then I cut some 4” long pieces of 16 gauge wire (also from Lowe’s) and hot glued the leaves to the ends.


And then I stuck the wires into the grapevine portion of the wreath…no glue necessary because the wires were long enough.


That was good news, because I’d already had a run in with the gun.


Plus, now I can pull them back out and replace them with something else festive when Fall is over.  Berries for Christmas, maybe?

*Disclosure: Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to purchase supplies for this project as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team. All opinions and statements are mine.  Don’t forget to head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:


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