Category Archives: DIY

My Sister’s DIY Wedding

My sister got married last summer.  This is not news, but it has taken me this long to wrap my mind around sharing all of the fun projects and beautiful pictures that came out of this special event.  Even so I won’t take the time to explain them all.  Picture proof is good enough at this point.

My sister wanted a very small, intimate wedding.  She was kind enough to involve me in the process.

The wedding was at Silver Fork Lodge in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  It couldn’t be a more beautiful setting for an August wedding.

Silver Fork Lodge

Unless otherwise noted, all photos taken by Kate Elizabeth Photography and more available for viewing here.

The venue is a little bed and breakfast (and tasty diner – the sourdough start is apparently more than 100 years old) in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We wanted to make sure guests didn’t get distracted by the beautiful scenery and miss it.  So I found this easel at the thrift store for $15 (one of the most expensive items from the wedding!). One side had a chalkboard that we just removed.  It was good and sturdy and always could be used by my sister’s twin daughters in the future! I cut out letters using the Cricuit and simply taped them on.  We hoped for good weather and lucked out.

Welcome Sign

My sister’s now-husband walked down the aisle first.  Their twin daughters and flower girls were supposed to walk down with him; however, they weren’t having that after waking up a little too early from that afternoon nap.


The flower girls’ baskets were also from the thrift store, where I purchased them for 50 cents each.

DI baskets

My sister’s florist decorated the arch.


Her hubby-to-be, a gifted musician, played acoustic guitar while my dad walked her down the aisle.

Wedding Cid & Drew-79

This little shack proved quite the eyesore along my sister’s walk to the arch.  I covered it with lace curtains I found at a Goodwill in Nebraska and other white sheer curtains from Ikea.

CurtainsThe groom’s dad provided the rings in a leather pouch we purchased at a leather store in West Jordan.

Leather Ring Bag

The twin daughters got rings as well.

Plastic Rings

Kiss the Bride

The happy new family participated in a sand ceremony to symbolize the uniting of all four of them.


Sand end result

The dinner and reception was quite the party!

Tree Photos

Rock Chalkboard

Rock Basket


mason jar


mason jars


vases 2



I collected unique vases and jars for about a month or so before the big day.




Card Table

Wedding Cid & Drew-29

lanterns 5


I recommend buying paper lanterns.  (We got these used on KSL.)  Making the string ball was quite messy.

lanterns4A friend made their cake.

cakeThe cake stand was purchased from Etsy.


The chalkboard menu was created from an old mirror I had laying around.


Eat, drink, be married!

Be Married

Eat Drink Be Married

The groom’s band played for dancing party guests of all ages.

Wedding Cid & Drew-475

Wedding Cid & Drew-394


See more of the photographer’s photos on Kate Elizabeth’s blog.



Filed under DIY, Party Planning

Pinterest-Inspired Christmas Wrap

Wrapping paper is one of my weaknesses.  I can’t get enough of it.  So when I recently got a roommate and had to downsize my craft room into a craft corner, I took an oath not to buy any wrapping paper this holiday season.  This was also a financially-friendly way to reduce some holiday stress.

I fell in love with this image I found on Pinterest (where else?).


Pinspiration here.

It was a perfect fit for my wrapping-paper embargo since I already had neutral-colored wrap and lots of burlap left over from a certain handsome guy’s first birthday party.

So away I went. I used a lot of chipboard letters I was given in a craft kit one year for Christmas.

P Gift

blue ribbon

I incorporated some scrapbook letters I bought at the thrift store in the summer, which included four full sets for $1 or so.

M and J Gift



The pinwheels from the pinspiration above really got me excited me.  Hot glue gun in hand, I had many sticky failures.  This was one of the two survivors and was still a little too tight and split at the end.  Too bad for E.

E Gift

B Gift

I purchased an old dictionary from the thrift store this summer for some craft project that never was completed.  So when I saw this image, I knew I could put that dictionary to at least some use.


Pinspiration found here.

I didn’t stamp mine because I used the Christmas page of the dictionary.  (How clever I think I am!)

Dictionary Gift

Dictionary Closeup

Just another reminder that I’m so glad I learned to sew!

I only needed to make one Christmas card.  Being limited to what I had on hand, I set out to recreate this Pin.


Pinspiration found here.

For the ten minutes I spent on it, I don’t think it turned out half bad.


I stuffed some boxes with some tinsel I had laying around from an Alvin and the Chipmunks party I threw two years ago! I know there is just no need to hang on to tinsel for two years but I did just that.

red gift

Green Gift

Who else loves wrapping? Any one ever tried a pinwheel? Oy vey!


Filed under DIY

No Turning Back Now


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Filed under DIY

Tip Jar: Clean Your Sink Hose Sprayer

When I first moved in to my new place, I was particularly disturbed by the state of the sink sprayer.  I hesitated to post the photo, but the picture is necessary to show how easily this worked. Brace yourselves.

Ewwww.  See all that gross build up?

I remembered a post I had read a while ago from Apartment Therapy.  Yes, I may not remember the Rules of Evidence, which are necessary to my livelihood, but I can remember online cleaning suggestions.

The post suggested soaking your shower head in white vinegar over night to remove the build up that prevents full water spray.  My shower head looks great but the technique seemed just as likely to work on the sink sprayer.

After I painted the kitchen, I filled a glass with white vinegar and shoved the sprayer in the glass over night.  The next morning I rinsed the sprayer and scrubbed it just briefly.  It came perfectly clean!

What do you clean with vinegar?


Filed under DIY

Easy DIY Dog Bed

My parents’ dog, Jo, is a good (albeit strange) girl.

I couldn’t stand that she slept every night on a single blanket folded in quarters. (Just the thought still breaks my heart!) So for Christmas I made her a dog bed using the tutorial found here.

First I bought wool sweaters from the thrift store.  I found that you can get more bang for your buck if you buy from the men’s department.  Although the sweaters aren’t as colorful, there is much more fabric for the same price as a woman’s sweater.

Cut them down the seams and wash them in hot water.  This is what people mean when they say “felting wool.”  Who knew?

I used a coupon at Joann’s to buy a 24 x 24 pillow.  At first this seemed a little small for a dog Jo’s size (she’s a border collie mix) but it is actually quite perfect.

Then I pieced squares of felt together in patterns I liked.  The tutorial suggests making a template out of scrap paper.  I didn’t.  That just seemed like a waste of time since I wasn’t doing some random pattern.

The cream sweater is one of my own that I accidentally “felted”.

My pieces weren’t perfectly sized so I just squared them up at the end.

I think it turned out really cute.

The best part is that the tutorial instructs you to use the bottom hem of the sweaters as  the pieces for the envelope backing, so you can change the cushion or wash the cover as needed.

Jo loves it (turns out she’s a shy model, however).  Total cost? About $20!


Filed under DIY

Cleaning Kitchen Hardware

More than a month ago I debuted my kitchen cabinet makeover.

Please, please.  Hold the applause.

In that post I droned on and on about those sad and nasty cabinets, but believe me when I say that the hardware was pretty gross, too. Years of grime coated each handle and hid any hint of color beneath it.  I couldn’t bring myself to put the old handles on the pretty new face of those cabinets.  That’d be like using a dirty towel after showering. Why bother?

My inner domestic goddess wanted to buy new hardware that glistened.  But the public defender in me reminded the goddess that we’re renters on a budget and metaphorically slapped some sense into her.

After some research, I created my own cleaning recipe based on what I had on hand.  I filled the sink with hot water, some ammonia and a bit of ordinary dish soap.  (Open the windows or risk building evacuation!)  I soaked a few handles in the solution and  scrubbed them one by one with a toothbrush from the dollar store.  Look at how you can actually see chunks of the grime peel away.

Click on the picture to get a full screen shot of the kind of progress I made here.  It reminded me of streams of seaweed falling off the handles.

Look at the difference! Not bad, eh?  They are now worthy of my beautiful cabinets.  And both my inner public defender and domestic goddess are satisfied that we found a thrifty way to make them feel like new!


Filed under DIY, home decor

A Pinterest-Inspired Christmas Gift

Oh, Pinterest.  How you build me up and break me down.  So many ideas that will never be accomplished.

I suspect this is the first thing I’ve actually made from Pinterest.  I loved it.

My inspiration came from here.


Filed under DIY