Father’s Day Beer “Can”dles

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For every Father’s Day since I was a little girl, I have hand crafted gifts for my dad. I’ve made cards, pop-up books, picture frames, paintings, placemats – you name it. In fact the other day when he and I were cleaning out the storage closet, I found a leaf family I once made him. There were dried leaves with cut out lips and eyes and paper hair that matched our family’s. It was pretty funny and also really sweet to see that he still had it. I never really believed him when he said he preferred handmade gifts and always vowed to buy him nice things once I had my own money, but now that I’m older I understand where he’s coming from.

These candles incorporate a classic dad favorite: beer. You can transform your dad’s favorite beer into decorative “can”dles (ha, get it?) that will always remind him of you.

I hope all the hardworking and loving fathers out there enjoy the holiday, as well as those who have selflessly stepped up and taken on that important role for children who aren’t as lucky as I’ve been to have an awesome dad. A special thanks to my dad, who loves and supports me endlessly, always pushing me to be courageous,  adventurous, curious, passionate, and kind. I’m very fortunate to have such an incredible role model.


Materials:

  • Wax
  • Empty beer cans
  • Candle wicks
  • Scissors
  • A funnel
  • Glass bowl
  • Can opener

First determine how many candles you plan to make and remove as much wax as you will need for them from the packaging. Cut the wax into smaller pieces so that it will melt easier. Place the pieces into a glass bowl and microwave on medium power for 30 second intervals until completely melted.

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While the wax melts, use a can opener to remove the top of the can. Be careful not to cut your fingers!

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The remaining lip of the can should be nice and smooth.

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Use oven mits to remove the hot wax. If you want to add a scent to your candle, go ahead and add that now. My dad isn’t a big fan of scented candles so I left mine unscented. Then dip the base of the wick into the wax and carefully position it in the bottom of the can. Allow the wax to harden for a few seconds so that the wick is secure.

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Insert the funnel so that the wick is in the middle.

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Pour the remaining hot wax into the funnel until the can is almost filled to the top.

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Leave the candle to completely cool and harden.

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Use scissors to trim the wick, and just like that, you have beer candles!

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Happy Father’s Day!

-Kirby

Lemon Flower Arrangement

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When life gives you lemons, make lemon filled vases for your flowers! The saying goes something like that… right? A flower arrangement is the easiest and most elegant way to elevate your home, but most people (like us) can’t afford fresh flower bouquets every week. So when we do buy them for celebratory occasions or when we need a little cheerer-upper, they make our homes feel extra special.

The addition of sliced lemons takes an already beautiful arrangement to the next level, just in time for the warm June weather. It’s more time consuming for sure, but the result is worth it. Our lemon flower arrangement is the perfect addition to the patio table, just in time for this week’s early summer BBQs and rosé nights with the girls.


Materials:

  • Flowers
  • Lemons (each lemon makes about 5-6 slices, so the number depends on your vase size)
  • Toothpicks
  • A vase that stands straight up (the angular ones don’t work with the lemons)
  • Scissors
  • A knife and chopping board

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Slice your lemons into even circles about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. If they are too thin, you will see the toothpicks so best to stay on the thick side just in case.

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Use toothpicks to connect strands of lemons. Each strand should be the height of your vase.

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Our vase was quite tall so we made alternating strands of 3 and 4 lemons.

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Trim your flowers and arrange them inside the vase with water. Carefully insert the strands of lemons along the circumference of the vase. We used alternating lengths of strands so that the lemons filled all of the gaps.

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After about fifteen minutes of intense fiddling, you are done and your efforts will be well worth it.

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-Kirby and Michelle

 

DIY Twine Bowl

twinebowl-6-of-12When we first lived together sophomore year of college, our sorority made us choose a theme for our bedroom. Yes, you read that right. And to be completely honest, we were pretty psyched. Remember those home improvement shows for kids where they went all out on the themed rooms? Well that’s what it felt like. After much deliberation (and accepting that a Harry Potter theme probably wouldn’t fly in the sorority house), we chose “country rustic”. We’re still not quite sure what that means other than we probably spent too much time looking at Pinterest weddings.

Anyways, to make this story somewhat relevant, this craft made us giggle because it’s very “country rustic”. If you put twine on anything you can call it rustic, but make a bowl out of it and use it to hold your farm fresh eggs, and now you’ve got country rustic.

But really, this craft is so simple (it’s only made of two materials!) and is a beautiful addition to a kitchen table when filled with fruit.


Materials:

  • Twine
  • Two bottles of Elmer’s school glue
  • Water
  • Two bowls (on for the glue and one for a mold)
  • Plastic wrap

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Pour 1 1/2 cups or so of water in your bowl and mix in both bottles of glue. Stir the mixture together until well incorporated.

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Unravel as much twine as you can and soak it in the glue.

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While the glue soaks, turn your bowl “mold” upside down and cover it with plastic wrap. You don’t have you use plastic wrap but it makes for easy clean up!

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Now wrap your glue-soaked twine around the bowl over and over again until there are a few layers of twine. The more you do this, the stronger the bowl will be. If you want to, you can be strategic with how you wrap it – you can make pretty loops or be very precise so that it is all really even. We opted for a more rustic feel, because you know, that was our theme. One you finish, patiently wait for the glue to dry. You want to wait at least 24 hours. The twine should be rock hard.

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Gently peel off the plastic wrap and any pieces of glue that are still stuck to the bowl.

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It makes for a great hat!

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Just kidding. Fill it with fresh fruit or whatever pleases you – because your bowl is ready to go!

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Happy glü-ing!

-Kirby and Michelle

 

DIY Cactus Rock Garden

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I am all on board the succulent train. I have one on my desk, I have one on my bedside table, and I’ve managed to convince both of my parents to plant them in their gardens. They make me smile when I see them along the walls of trendy L.A. coffee shops, and I must talk myself out of buying more whenever I pass the aisle at Home Depot. You get it, I like succulents.

So this past weekend when I went over to my friend Evie’s house and saw her homemade cactus rock garden, I got very VERY excited and she kindly showed me how she made it. This craft is perfect for kids, but also perfect for 22 year olds like myself. There is something about the smooth weight of the rocks and the way you can move them around in the sand/gravel that is so therapeutic – kind of like those zen sand trays. I could rake that sand for hours.

It’s a super cute addition to a book shelf or a coffee table, and the best part is we didn’t spend a penny to make it. This craft makes me smile. So thanks Evie, you’ve brought much happiness into my week.


Materials:

  • Smooth, somewhat flat rocks (we went hunting in the neighborhood)
  • A container (we used a recycled tomato can)
  • Sand or small pebbles (we used aquarium gravel)
  • Various shades of green paint
  • A sharpie
  • A glue gun
  • Pink embroidery thread
  • A fork
  • Scissors

First pick your rocks. You want to test them out with your container so that they aren’t so big that they fall out, but also aren’t so small that they look disproportionate. We used a large tomato can, but this craft could be done in any sort of container! Evie’s original was in a cute homemade box, and my next go at this will be in a wide but shallow ceramic pot so that I can use a lot more rocks.

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Fill your container just below the rim with gravel or sand.

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Mix your various shades of green. We did a different shade for each rock (and ended up omitting the neon green rock).

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Now patiently paint your rocks. I say patiently because you must do at least two coats and you have to do both sides. It takes forever and is pretty boring. It’s like watching paint dry. hehe.

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But the wait is worth it because now you have beautiful green stones. I loved them so much like this I was tempted to just leave them so that I could just look at them and hold them from time to time.

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We used a small stone and a big stone painted the same shade to make a cactus with a branch (that sounds wrong… is there a better word for that?). We simply glued it on with hot glue.

At this stage Evie turned to me and said “now  just make your pom pom.” Like I know how to make miniature pom poms… does anyone just know how to do that? Needless to say, I had her very carefully walk me through it and to be honest, it’s quite easy and now I can confidently make mini pom poms.

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So here are the secrets. Get a cute tiny fork with a cool swirly handle (or probably just a normal fork), and wrap your thread around it until it forms a thick bundle. Next, gently weave the end of the thread through the fork tongs underneath your “bundle”. Pull it through and tie it into a tight knot around the bundle. It should look like a oddly shaped bowtie. Remove it from the fork and cut both sides of the “bowtie”. Use your fingers to spread apart the threads and voila! you’ve got a little poof.

 

Glue your pom pom to the top of one of the rocks.

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Use a sharpie with a fine tip to draw on the thorns. We used a variety of patterns to depict them, including stripes, crosses, “v”s, and little lines that look like sprinkles.

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Now you can arrange your rocks however you would like in your little garden. And then you can rearrange them when you get bored. And then do it again. That’s the beautify of this sweet little craft.

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Happy “gardening”!

 

-Kirby