Painted Kitchen Utensils

A few weeks ago, some of the girls in my family had a craft day at my house. Despite the fact that I have tons of craft supplies and my garage is filling up with roadside furniture collections I’ve been promising my husband I’ll redo at some point, I was at a bit of a loss trying to find some craft inspiration for that day.

Wooden Spoons 3

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Gifting Your Homemade Soap!

Gifting Your Homemade Soap! - offbeat + inspired

I LOVE soap making. The process is so relaxing, lathering up with a homemade bar is so satisfying, and the entire concept is so healthy! There are so many benefits to making your own soap from scratch. Using it yourself is wonderful, but equally wonderful is gifting it.

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Honey-Walnut Milk Soap

Honey-Walnut Soap

I started making soap this past fall, and since then I’ve enjoyed researching recipes, ingredients and techniques. I love experimenting, and when my first soaping mishap turned out to be fixable, I realized making a mistake wasn’t that big of deal – so why not try some new things? After taking a break over the holidays, I decided that one of my first crafting tasks for 2013 would be  a new soap recipe. I wanted to experiment with ingredients I’ve never used before, so I worked on creating a milk-based soap.

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DIY Tee Design With DecoArt Fabric Paints

DIY Tee Design with DecoArt Fabric Paints - Offbeat & Inspired

In case you haven’t realized it by now, I’m a huge fan of upcycling. If it can be purchased, it can be made — and if it can be made, there’s a chance you already have the tools to do it at home. Of course this isn’t always the case, but in my experience I rarely have to buy more than 1 or 2 things to complete a project. Either DIY-ing really is that resourceful, or I’m a hoarder. Whichever way you look at it, making stuff from what you already have in the house is awesome. As a result of my (possible) hoarder-like tendencies, I have a collection of blank fitted tees that I knew would be perfect candidates for a little design upgrade.

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DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags

DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags - Offbeat & Inspired

With Christmas right around the corner, there are a million things to do in the way of decorating, list making, gift buying and travel planning. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve resolved to have a handmade holiday.  Because DIY projects can be a bit of an investment and a little more work, I like to focus on ones that will serve me year round (while staying season-appropriate).  It’s easy to get lost in the idea of “doing it yourself” in order to save money and vent some of that creative energy, but the “saving money” part can get tossed out the window fast if a lot of your projects are only useful once or twice a year.  On that note, I’d like to introduce Cereal Box Gift Tags!

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Easy DIY Wrapped Ball Ornament

I’m not one for flashy Christmas decor. It’s a little ironic because when the giant inflatable snow globes and Santas start to pop up all over the neighborhood, I love it!   As Christmas nears, I love driving around with Dave while listening to Christmas music and trying to find the houses with the most outrageous lights and props displays.  All of this ends the minute I enter my own house.  The craziest Christmas decorating I do is probably putting up a tree with colored twinkle lights.  Out of control, right?  Well that’s why I’ve decided to put a little more effort into my decorating this year.  I wanted decorations that were totally Christmas-worthy but could also be used year-round.

These ball ornaments are incredibly cheap and easy to make.  All you need are some styrofoam balls, an old catalog (or newspaper, or fabric), a hot glue gun and some string.  In the tutorial below, I’ll walk you through how I made one out of the pages of a catalog!

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Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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DIY Clamped Mason Jar Vase Centerpiece

So one day I was browsing through an interior decorating catalog when in the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was a centerpiece composed of a row of glass bottles clamped together.  When I actually looked at it, it wasn’t at all what I thought it was, but I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided I had to make it myself.  Once I get something in my head like that, I turn into some sort of robot programmed to complete a mission.

I recruited hubby to go to Lowe’s with me to find all the pieces we’d need to create the imaginary centerpiece.  Because of my deep love for mason jars, we picked up a few of those (instead of bottles), and hunted down all the other pieces in about 15 minutes flat.  I have no idea how we found all that stuff so fast.  It was like I developed some sort of sixth-sense while I was in mission mode.

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A Recipe for Cafe Soap!

We had a soap party last weekend! A few friends came over and we spent hours melting, mixing, pouring, and having a blast. Coming up with soap recipes and creating them with friends are probably the 2 most enjoyable things about soaping, other than using your very own homemade bar for the first time!

One of the new recipes we tried out was for a coffee soap with jojoba oil. This soap is made with a double-strength coffee base instead of water, used coffee grounds as an exfoliant, and jojoba oil for its great nutrients and skin conditioning properties. We cut the bars last night and now we’re impatiently counting the days until they’re finished curing. We’re really excited to gift these when they’re ready – that is if we don’t end up hoarding them all for ourselves…

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