DIY Gemstone-Topped Jewelry Boxes

DIY Gemstone Topped Jewelry Box craft

I was beyond thrilled to be invited back to Oregon’s KATU Afternoon Live show last month – to demonstrate how to make these beautiful DIY gemstone-topped jewelry boxes (for Valentine’s Day…or any other gift-giving occasion really!)

Watch below as I demonstrate with host Tra-Renee how to make your own to rival those $45+ boxes you see at the home decor stores!

How to DIY Your Own Gemstone- (or Agate, or Geode) Topped Jewelry Box

DIY Supplies for Making Your Own Agate Jewelry Box That I Mentioned in the Video:

Boxes: unfinished wooden boxes found at Michael’s. You could also buy them online here.
Paint for Inside and Outside of Boxes: I used Martha Stewart Crafts line of acrylic paints
Sliced Agate: Ed’s House of Gems (store on Sandy Blvd. in NE Portland, OR to buy lovely rocks and sliced agate pieces)  //  Amazon.com
Silver Titanium Heart Crystal: (I mistakenly called it “hematite” in the video, oops) Etsy.com (search results for heart crystal since the exact one I featured is no longer available)
Gold Calligraphy Pen: this is the type I used for painting the raw edges of the boxes; it creates a lovely metallic finish
2-Part Epoxy: you can use any kind as long as it’s clear, I used this one and it’s never EVER coming off that box!
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (for a glossy, resin-like finish): Michael’s, Jo-Ann Crafts, or online here
Happy DIY’ing!
xo
Carly

DIY Valentine’s Day Labeled Glass Bottles with Paper Mart

DIY Printed Bath Product Labels with Paper Mart

This project is in collaboration with Paper Mart. I was provided supplies to create a Valentine’s Day tutorial. All opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.

There’s something about a suite of matching, pretty labels on all your toiletries…something high-end and chic-looking about lovely bottles all in a row. I’m a big fan of decanting product since it creates a consistent look and feel. Yet this was the first time I was using printable clear stickers in my inkjet printer…so I had a bit of a learning curve. In collaboration with Paper Mart, here’s how to make your own pretty bath product labels (for a Valentine’s Day gift or just for yourself!) with some printable adhesive sticker paper and a printer:

How to Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Printed Toiletry Bath Product Labels

You Need:

glass bottles (these are a smaller size, good for gifts)  /  bottle caps or dispenser pumps  /  scissors  /  printable clear sticker paper  /  white eraser (not pictured) Krylon Preserve It! spray (not pictured)  /  old newspapers or something to protect your surface (not pictured)
  /  label template  /  piece of plain paper (not pictured, optional)  /  tape (not pictured, optional)  /  rubbing alcohol and paper towels (not pictured)  /  small funnel (not pictured)

How To:

1. Create your labels on the computer.  I used these original templates from Creative Market, and customized them for this project. You can download the labels I created here – or use this version where you can type your own product names in Acrobat, Photoshop, or another graphics program.

2. Print out your labels on your inkjet printer. I found that my printer had A LOT of trouble feeding the clear sticker sheet through. I got past that by taping a piece of regular 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper to the back of the sticker sheet with a couple pieces of tape, and then the printer was able to grab it and feed it through. HOWEVER printing labels on an inkjet printer I found requires sealing the labels, or else the ink will run when it gets wet. More below. (You could also use this brand on a laser printer down at the print shop to get around this…or use this waterproof label paper here.)

3. I found that my inkjet had smeared the ink a little bit. I was able to clean that up with a white eraser, and scrubbing at the ink blots before the ink was completely dry.

4. At this point if you opted for printing in your inkjet printer, you will have to seal the labels so you can use the bottles in the bathroom (where they are bound to come in contact with moisture). Here is a tutorial for sealing with clear crayon, but I prefer to use Krylon Preserve It! spray. Lay the sticker paper, right side up, on some newspapers and give it a good spray according to the directions and allow to dry.

4. Cut out your labels, leaving a small amount of sticker sheet around the label edge.

5. Remove the sticker sheet backing. Clean the bottle surface with rubbing alcohol if you need to. Making sure your bottles are clean and dry, apply the labels to the front of the bottles.

6. If you purchase the dispenser pumps through Paper Mart, you’ll find they are a bit long for these bottles. Cut the straw shorter at a length that is long enough to touch the bottom of the bottle. (I made my straws long enough so they would be pushed up against the bottle bottom, and be slightly curved in order to fit.) Cut the straw on an angle, and round out the cut edges.

7. Pour your product into the bottles (you may need a small funnel) – and enjoy!

And that’s it!

These are super-cute as a gift (think a coordinating product suite, themed gift or spa basket, or even bottles for homemade body products!). Plus, they look great on the bathroom counter.

Oh, FYI – the rose petals are from here.

Happy DIY’ing – and Happy Valentine’s Day!

xo

Carly

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DIY Valentine’s Day Jeweled Wreath with Paper Mart

This project is in collaboration with Paper Mart. I was provided supplies to create a Valentine’s Day tutorial. All opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.

Most of the year I have a seasonal wreath hanging on my door…but realized that for Valentine’s Day I’ve never made anything appropriate for the holiday. My initial thoughts were to just do something easy peasy (and a little cheesy 😉 : gluing foam cut-out hearts to a wreath ring and call it that. Then I decided I wanted to take things up a notch and make something sparkly, chic, and not so obviously Valentine’s Day…and Paper Mart came to my rescue. (And let me preface this by saying this project is as easy as gluing stuff onto a wreath form!!) Here’s how you can make your own bejeweled beautiful sophisticated wreath – not just for Valentine’s Day but for any day of the year:

How to Make a Jeweled Valentine’s Day Wreath

You Need:

16″ wreath frame / 1+ pack of pink round acrylic jewels / 1+ pack of 20mm crystals / 1+ pack of 12mm crystals / silver wired lame ribbon / jewel placement tool (optional) / slow-drying clear glue (recommended: Dazzle Tac) / scissors / glue gun

How To:

1. Start wrapping the end of your ribbon to the top of the frame (I didn’t even need a glue gun to secure because the wire inside of the ribbon will hold it down!).

2. Wrap ribbon around the entire frame to make a gluable ribbon base, overlapping the ribbon slightly.

3. Cut the ribbon once you meet the beginning of it again, fold over the cut edge slightly, and glue down the end to cover up the other ribbon end.

4.Now make a bow for your wreath. Here’s how:

How to Make the Perfect Bow (gluing wired ribbon)

Cut 3 pieces of ribbon. For 1.5″ wide ribbons like this, the measurements I used were:

  • 3.75″
  • 18.75″
  • 26.75″

5.Take the middle length of ribbon and hot glue the ends overlapping (about 1/2″) to make a loop.

6. Press the loop down in the middle and glue the inner center of the loop at the overlapping area to the other side of the loop on the inside. This now creates 2 loops: the loops of the bow.

7. Glue the center of the longest piece to the back of the loop you created at the overlap, right sides together.

8. Place the shortest piece on top of the bundle at the center front of the two loop piece and glue down.

9. Pull the ends of the shortest ribbon piece to the back of the bundle, scrunching in at its sides, and glue at the back, the ends slightly overlapping.

10. Fluff out your ribbon by making the loops large and round, and fold the long ribbon piece down so it’s visible behind the loops. Add some waviness to the longer ribbon ends.

11. Cut the long ribbon ends at an angle.

12. Top off your wreath by hot-gluing on a bow made from the wired ribbon.

13. Now it’s time to have some fun! Spread slow-drying glue onto the back of a large gemstone, and place onto the wreath. (I know it shows E6000 glue in the photo, but I quickly found that Dazzle Tac was much better.) I chose an evenly-spaced placement.

14. Then repeat for the medium-sized jewels (these too I opted for an evenly-spaced placement around the wreath).

15. Repeat the process for the smallest rhinestones. You could use a jewel placement tool to help place gems quickly, but you can also use tweezers or even your fingers depending on how much precision you want. It’s always helpful to take a step back and assess your work. I chose to create a cluster with the smaller pink jewels near the bottom of the wreath; you can add more or less depending on what look you like.

And that’s it!

Allow to dry, then hang on your door – or wall – or use as a centerpiece for your delicious Valentine’s Day dinner. Sparkle – ribbon – jewels – beautiful!

Happy DIY’ing!
xo
Carly

DIY Home: Pretty Patterned Bathroom Cabinet Makeover

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-before-after-intro-photo

Along with the DIY $5 Bathroom Drawer Makeover I did last year, I decided to also give the insides of my bathroom cabinets a facelift with some shelf liner paper and washi tape.

It’s super-easy to do the same – and it provides amazing results. Here’s how to give yourself a little pop of happiness each time you open the medicine cabinet:

DIY Pretty Patterned Bathroom Cabinet Makeover with Shelf Liner Paper

You Need:

sticky-back shelf liner paper (or removable wallpaper!)…I believe my shelf liner paper was actually from a recent trip to HomeGoods  /  washi tape  /  sharp Xacto knife or box cutter  /  scissors  /  measuring tape

How To:

  diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-before

  1. My bathroom cabinet was a mess – overflowing with expired meds, unused items, and general junk. (If yours is only half as bad I’ll feel slightly better. I mean, who keeps a bottle of silly putty slime from their son’s 7th birthday party in their medicine cabinet??! (My son is now 10 and a half.) But I digress.) The first step in a makeover is to remove!

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-step-1

Remove everything and go through it mercilessly.

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2. Wipe down the inside of the cabinet and remove the shelves (if you can). Apply a pretty washi tape to the edges of the shelves, cutting the ends flush with the ends of the shelves.

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-step-3

3. Measure the inside of the cabinet and cut a piece of shelf paper that matches in size. Remove the backing to the paper and, starting at the top inside of the cabinet, start applying the paper, smoothing down as you go.

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-step-4

4. My cabinet had screws in the center of the back, so I used a box cutter to carefully cut out a round hole for each screw as I encountered it. I then carefully smoothed the shelf paper around it to remove bubbles and lumps.

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-step-5

5. Once the paper was flush with the back of the cabinet and secure, I replaced the shelves.

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-after-2

And the pared-down pile of junk I still wanted to keep in there!

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-after-1

It looks a lot better, no? All in all – it took my about 15 minutes – and it makes me grin every day when I open it and see how pretty it is on the inside. I chose not to do the sides of the cabinet or the inside of the door just yet…because I think I want to do something different with the back of the door!

Here’s one more time, before…

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-before

diy-bathroom-cabinet-makeover-after-1

and after! A huge improvement, and I’m totally happy with it.

Tell me: Have you gone crazy and papered the inside of your cabinets yet?

xo

Carly

DIY Agate Slice Drink Coasters

diy-agate-coasters-intro-chic-stealsOn a recent trip to one of my favorite gem supply shops in the Portland area (Ed’s House of Gems as I wrote in an earlier post here) I found some pretty agate slices that seemed like they would be perfect for drink coasters. Sure, I got the idea from Rablabs many years back…but those coasters were $65 at the time and way more than I wanted to spend. So I decided to make my own DIY agate drink coasters – with a little metal leaf to glam them up – and some cork “feet” to protect my table. You can find agate or geode slices many places now (including at your local Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics stores!) and you can buy them on eBay or here as well. I also shared this project idea on Darby Smart awhile ago…but I figured it was high time to turn it into a full-fledged tutorial. So here it is!

You Need:

diy-agate-coasters-materials

agate slices (you can use dyed agate though the dye may bleed a little)  /  Mod Podge or metal leafing glue  /  clean, soft brush  /  metal leaf sheet in your favorite metal color  /  adhesive cork disks (find these in the furniture protection section!)  /  small scissors  /  adhesive sealant (optional, not pictured)

How To:
diy-agate-coasters-step-1
1. Brush the edges of an agate slice with Mod Podge or metal leafing glue. (If your agate is dyed, you may find that the color starts bleeding into the glue here.)
diy-agate-coasters-step-2

2. Allow the glue to dry a few minutes so it is tacky. Roll onto a metal leafing sheet, pressing hard and covering all edges completely with the sheet. Just rip and reposition!diy-agate-coasters-step-3

3. Making sure your brush is completely dry (or just use a different brush), gently brush off the excess metal leaf.diy-agate-coasters-step-4

4. Usually the adhesive cork disks that are sold for furniture are too large for coasters, so cut each disk into smaller pieces.diy-agate-coasters-step-5

5. Place the cork pieces at opposite ends of the agate slice so the slice will sit level on a flat surface.

And that’s it! diy-agate-coasters-done-2-chic-steals

Pretty, colorful, organic coasters add a touch of class to any decor. If you’re concerned about the metal leaf coming off with use or exposure to liquids, I’d advise a quick spray of acrylic sealant around the edges of the coasters to make that permanent.diy-agate-coasters-done-1-chic-steals

These coasters look so lovely shimmering in pale colors below translucent drinks!

What do you think? Is this a project you’ll be trying out?

xo
Carly

ChicSteals_agatebox2

And if you love agate projects (or need something to do with any extra agate slices you may have acquired ;-)…my DIY Agate Keepsake Box (above) materials are still available on Darby Smart…and you can buy them individually in case you only need one or two supplies. (And…pssst! Right now [early Spring 2016] in Target’s front $1 section right in front of the doors…there are beautiful hinged WHITE wooden boxes…for only $3, which I suggest you snap up IMMEDIATELY to take advantage!)

DIY Gold-Painted Agate Bookends

diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-title-chic-stealsSo…sliced agate bookends are a big THING…but they can be ridiculously expensive. Just browse One King’s Lane or Joss & Main (and those are discounted to around $66, sheesh!) to see what I mean. Or Z Gallerie to see the full-priced version at $99. Even Target released a pair as part of their Threshold line…and of course the pair is about at the $25 mark. That’s still a price I think I can beat, so I began searching for how to create these lovely bookends for less.

Unfortunately to get good-quality sliced and polished matching agate chunks, you’ll have to pony up some cash, there’s no way around that. If you can score a pair on eBay for cheaper, that’s awesome…just be aware to factor in shipping to make sure you’re getting a good deal (those things can be heavy). Amazon has some great agate bookend options…similar to the lower pricepoint I found mine at – so I’d recommend buying through them!) Personally, I like to source my gems at local rock shops since I can get a pretty good deal depending on what they have in stock – and a favorite of mine is Ed’s House of Gems in NE Portland (don’t look at their website, it doesn’t begin to do this amazing store justice). Needless to say, I managed to find a beautiful pair of agate bookends there recently for a mere $18 – and set out to spice them up and make them look as nice as the Target (or the more expensive!) versions. (You could also cover the rough sides in actual gold or silver leaf if you wanted…but I had some spray paint on hand and figured that would be easiest.)

How to Make DIY Gold Painted Agate Bookends

You Need:

diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-materials-chic-steals

sliced agate pair  |  painter’s tape  |  gold spray paint (here are a variety of great options)  |  acrylic sealer (optional)  |  newspapers or something to protect your surface  |  sticky-back felt dots (optional)

How To:

       diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-step-1-chic-steals

1. Spread painter’s tape over the flat sides of each bookend, extending the tape beyond the side. diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-step-2-chic-steals

Press firmly at the edge where the flat polished side meets the rough, rocky edge to prevent seepage.

diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-step-3-chic-steals

2. Place on newspapers outside, and spray the rough, rocky sides gold. 1-2 coats should suffice.

3. Allow to dry.

4. (Optional) Hit the gold-painted side with a coating of acrylic sealer if you’re concerned about the gold rubbing off.

5. (Optional) Place sticky-back felt dots on the underside of the agate pieces to keep your shelving safe.

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And there you have it!

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You could easily just place the agate pieces as-is on your shelves and none would be the wiser…but I wanted some more finished pieces. They would also make a fabulous gift that looks oh-so-expensive…and you never have to tell anyone that you crafted them for a steal!

Happy DIY’ing!

diy-gold-painted-agate-bookends-done-2-chic-steals

If you’ve made your own version of these popular sliced DIY agate bookends – how did they work out for you? Let me know in the comments!

xo
Carly