tag: diy

christmas 'chalkboard' packaging!

well, just like i predicted last year, we had so much black kraft paper left over that i’ve decided to once again have fun with a little christmas ‘chalkboard’ packaging! i usually like to switch things up each christmas, and though the packaging is generally the same as last year, i’ve been super excited to incorporate these instagram inspired gift tags into the designs.

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to make your own chalkboard packaging, the first thing you’ll need is some black craft paper. i got mine right here and it works great, but just like i warned you last year- it’s a HUGE roll! (

next you’ll need a white paint marker that will show up well on black paper. after some trial and error and visiting my local scrapbooking store, this is what i came home with:

1. tim holtz distress marker in ‘picket fence’. this one looks very ‘chalky’. it goes on clear, but quickly dries in white.

2. sakura pen-touch white. this one is easy to work with and shows up really well.

3. crayola white colored pencil. not the greatest option, but it does show up if it’s all you have.

4. painters opaque paint marker. this is another good option. the point is a bit finer so it’s great for more detailed work.

i used the sakura pen-touch last year, but since i couldn’t find it this year (haha) i used the painters opaque paint marker. i enjoyed using it and i think the end result turned out to look really nice!

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this year, i also tried to come up with some more fun doodle ideas. if you like, you can click on the image above to download this as a printable pdf (without the black) to print and use as a reference. sometimes coming up with ideas to doodle can be the hardest part!

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christmas chalkboard packaging!

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i know many of you have done a version of this yourselves from last year. what advice do you have to share? pen types? doodle ideas? best tape to use on black? let’s chat about your projects in the comments area- i’ll meet you there!

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diy stenciled lamp shade

December 11, 2013

diy stenciled lamp shade

i’m so in love with this lamp shade that royal design studio made this week using the forest floor damask from my stencil collection with them. i can never seem to find great lamps/lampshades and when i do, they’re usually out of my budget. not any more! you might even find me at a thrift store this week on the hunt for a nice blank-canvas-lampshade to work with. i especially love the gold they’ve used for the foliage. isn’t it pretty?

head on over to royal design studio to get the full tutorial!

diy stenciled lamp shade

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soy candle tutorial + labels

December 10, 2013

soy candle tutorial + labels

as promised last week on instagram, i’m excited to share with you a little soy candle tutorial! i’m by no means an expert, but i usually make a large batch of candles each year for christmas and try to make enough extras to last david and i for the rest of the year. many moons ago (before i started going home to roost!) i even did a few craft shows selling nothing but soy candles. they’re surprisingly easy to make and super fun!

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first of all let’s discuss: why soy?

– soy wax is natural, renewable, non-toxic and biodegradable (paraffin is made from crude oil, which is not renewable).
– soy wax burns longer at a cooler temperature than paraffin wax.
– soy wax produces less soot than paraffin wax- pure soy wax could be used to cook with or as massage oil (though i’m not recommending either)!
– soy wax cleans up easily with warm water- no worries about clothes, countertops or hands.

soy candle tutorial

next let’s talk about supplies. many of the specialty supplies are nice to have but can be substituted with household items which i’ve outlined below. i’ve always used candle science for my supplies, but know that you can shop any candle supplier you like!


– soy wax – i like to use golden brands 464. how much wax do you need? 1 pound (16oz) of wax will fill 16oz worth of of containers. so with 1 pound, you could fill 2 8oz containers or 4 4oz containers, etc.

hot burner – you can also use a stove top, but a hot burner will come in handy when you’re not making candles in your kitchen, or you’d like to keep the wax hot right where you’re working.

pouring pitcher – you can also use a regular pot, but make sure it pours well. the last thing you want is hot wax leaking all over everything while you pour!

wick bars – you’ll use these to hold your wick in place as the wax cools. i think you could also rig something yourself (maybe with clothes pins?), but they are inexpensive and nice to have.

candle containers: for this post i’ve used medium straight sided jar with gold lids. i’ve also thrift shopped for glass containers of all kinds! the only thing i’ve noticed is that when containers get smaller at the top than at the bottom, the wax usually hardens with holes and gaps. i usually just have to finish the tops again to make them smooth, which isn’t a huge deal but kind of time consuming.

fragrance – here i’ve used cinnamon, blue spruce and pine cones (yum!). 1 oz of fragrance will usually scent about 1 pound of wax. (i’ve also tried using botanical oils but haven’t had much luck with them.)

pre-tabbed candle wick – for these particular containers, i used eco-14 wicks, but you can use this wick guide to figure out which ones you need.

– hot glue gun – use this to glue the wicks to the bottom of each container.

– color – i usually like to keep my candles white. i love the classy look they have, but if you’d like to add color, it’s easy! just stir in a dye chip when you add your fragrance.

– thermometer – any candy thermometer will work.

– labels – though you don’t have to label your candles, i think it gives them a really nice, professional look, so i’ve made you a set of printable labels (see below to download)!

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soy candle tutorial (1) i printed these label on a full page of kraft sticker paper from world label, and then cut them out using a rotary cutter and ruler. i used ribbon font for the fragrance titles in case you’d like to use it as well.

to download: click here (or on the image above) to download the .zip file. inside you’ll find 1) the above labels as a pdf 2) a blank label pdf  so that you can fill in your own fragrance 3) a transparent png file so you can overlay these labels using any image program 4) an editable .eps file you can open and edit in photoshop or illustrator. whew!

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step 1: place the wax chips in a pouring pitcher (or pot) and heat until melted. remove from heat as soon as it’s melted to avoid getting your wax too hot (caution: it can catch on fire!). wax should be about 185°f.

step 2: while your wax is melting, glue the bottom of your pretabbed wicks into each container using a hot glue gun. place the wick bar on top of your container and insert the wick so that it’s tight and centered.

step 3: once your wax is melted, remove it from the heat and stir in your fragrance when it’s 185°f (and color if you’re adding it). 1 oz will usually scent about 1 pound of wax.

step 4: carefully pour the scented melted wax into each of your containers. let cool until wax is hard and white (usually 30-60 minutes).

step 5: remove wick bar and trim wicks to about 1/2 inch long.

step 6: place the lids on each jar and label them if desired. light and enjoy!

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diy baby leggings

October 24, 2013

DIY baby leggings - from socks! (2)

with cooler weather quickly approaching, i decided to get bear some baby leggings. after looking around a bit (and realizing how pricey they are), i thought, ‘hey, i bet i can make those!’. after a little research online, i decided to try my hand at making a few pairs (ok, several pairs). i couldn’t be happier with the results! they’re easy to  make, stay on great and keep my little man’s legs warm. (they’re especially nice for cloth diapering when pants looks big and bulky over the diaper!)

sidenote: they also work great as arm warmers for adults!

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you can imagine how elated i was to find these woodsy socks in the men’s section at target (i think i let out a squeal). aren’t they great?!

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and of course, i couldn’t resist these. :)

DIY baby leggings - from socks! (1)

step 1: gather your supplies. you’ll need a pair of mens socks or women’s knee high socks, a pair of scissors and a sewing machine with thread.

step 2: cut the straight sections out from the sock (refer to the diagram). you’ll keep the two long sections and discard the heel and toe.

step 3: to make the cuff, cut about 1/2″ off from the length of the 2nd straight section.

step 4: turn this section right sides together and stitch along the side.

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step 5: turn the two cuffs right sides out.

step 6: fold these two sections inside themselves (they should be right sides out all around now).

step 7: turn the top of the sock inside out. insert the cuff into the bottom of the sock.

step 8: push the cuffs all the way in so all the raw edges are lined up.

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step 9: place the 3 layers of raw edges under your sewing foot and beging to stitch.

step 10: continue sewing until you’ve completed the circle.

step 11: now turn the sock right sides out.

step 12: marvel at your new baby legs!

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as you can see, i made several pairs. the ones above are all made from men’s socks (found at target) and are great for the newborn – 6  month old baby.

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these are all made from women’s knee high socks and will be great for an older baby, say 6-18 months. they also work great as arm warmers for momma!

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as you can see, bear loves them! :)

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diy tea dyed tissue paper tassel mobile (13)

in addition to the dip-dyed hanging i made for bear’s room, i also made him a little tea dyed tissue paper tassel mobile (say that 10 times real fast). i wanted to try to make my own tissue paper tassels for a long time now, and this seemed to be the perfect excuse. i just love how it turned out!

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here’s the how-to:


– white tissue paper
– dark tea (i used yerba mate)
– cutting mat
– rotarty cutter (or exacto knife)
– ruler (or straight edge)
– jute
– and a pretty branch!

diy tea dyed tissue paper tassel mobile (1)

step 1: begin by unwrapping the tissue paper and steeping your tea. add about 10 tea bags to a large pot of water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

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step 2: completely submerge the ‘rolled up’ tissue paper into the tea mixture. let sit long enough to become completely soaked, about 5 minutes.

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step 3: set the tissue paper out to drip dry, then (ever so) carefully unravel it and lay it flat to dry. beware, it’s very fragile at this point!

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step 4: once completely dry, stack into sheets.

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step 5: start with one piece of tissue paper and fold in half horizontally. begin cutting the tissue paper into thin 1/4 – 1/2 inch strips, leaving about an 1.5″ margin at the top (where the fold is).

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step 6: continue cutting all the way across.

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step 7: carefully unfold the tissue paper and lay flat.

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step 8: gently begin to roll the tissue paper up, starting at one end and ending at the other. be careful not to get the tassels tangled too much, as they rip easily.  

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step 9: twist the middle part of your tassel together, then create a small loop.

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step 10: secure the loop by tying it off tightly with twine.

step 11: use the loop in order to string your tassels. attach them to the branch by using simple knots.

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reversible apron pattern

October 9, 2013

reversible apron pattern by bonnie christine

hey friends! a few of you may know, i got my start selling aprons and tea towels on etsy about 6 years ago. though i don’t sell aprons any more, they are still one of my most favorite items to make! i just love wearing a pretty apron while i cook, don’t you?

to celebrate my latest fabric line, reminisce, i’m sharing with you the very apron pattern i made to get my start in the handmade industry all those years ago. it’s tried and true, fits beautifully and is easy to make. keep reading for the how-to and downloadable pdf pattern!

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– pdf pattern (download here)
– 1 yard each of two coordinating  fabrics (we used timeless rosewood and sweet nostalgia antique)
– scissors
– rotary cutter and ruler (or just scissors if not available)
– sewing machine & thread


1. cut two apron panels, using the pattern supplied, one from each 1 yard piece of fabric. if your fabric is directional, be sure to cut out the apron with your pattern facing the correct direction.

2. cut four apron strings from the length of each 1 yard piece of fabric 1.5″ wide (8 total).

3. place two apron ties of contrasting colors right sides together and stitch around two long sides and one short end. (leave one end open for turning.) turn right sides out and press well. set aside.

4. place the apron pieces right sides together and pin together. tuck the apron ties inside the apron, with the open, unsewn ends extending in the seam allowance. placement is on both sides, ½” below the cut edge of the apron’s top edges and at the tops of the shoulders (see pattern for placement).

5. stitch around the entire apron, leaving a 4” opening for turning on one of the sides, below the tie. seam allowances are ¼”. turn the apron right side out and press well. tip: using a  point turner in the corners will ensure sharp points.

6. machine or hand stitch the opening on the side closed.

7. cook up a storm and enjoy!

photography by art gallery fabrics. pattern copyright bonnie christine 2013. pictured above laura grosso.

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diy rope changing basket

September 30, 2013

after falling in love with this baby changing basket (and not being able to find one like it anywhere), i decided to just make my own version! using a clothesline and this method, i whipped this guy together in an afternoon. though i’m sure bear will grow out of it eventually, i’m so happy to use it in these early months. it’s soft and cozy and fits him perfectly!

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clothesline (i used 200 feet for this basket)
– sewing machine
– colored polyester thread
– 2″ foam for ‘mattress’ (available at craft stores)
– soft wool for cover (i used one of my husband’s old sweaters!)
organic sherpa for linings (optional)

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begin by sewing two sides of clothesline rope together with a zig zag stitch into a long oval shape. this defines the entire shape of your basket (i.e. if you were making a round bowl, you’d start this in an exact circle).

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continue sewing around and around (and around and around) adding one layer of rope as you go.

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the most important part of this step is to try to keep the bottom of your basket laying flat as you sew it together. this gets harder and harder the larger it gets, but is an essential step in order to keep you basket laying flat.

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once you’ve made the entire flat bottom and you’re ready to turn up the edges to make the sides, take the entire piece of flat bottom you’ve created and tilt it upwards as you sew. (head on over to this post to see a good picture of this, i’m sorry i couldn’t manage to take one the project was so huge!). continue to sew until you’ve run out of rope, then back stitch thoroughly to secure the end.

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next, simply lay a piece of tissue paper inside the basket and make yourself a ‘pattern’ for the mattress pad. trace it onto the foam and cut around it. here, i’ve used one of my husband’s old wool sweaters to make a cover for it, but you could also use any fabric or wool to make the cover using the same pattern you used to cut out the foam pad. if you like, leave an envelope closure on the back for easy washing.

though this is completely optional, i also made a few mattress liners out of organic sherpa fleece. using the same pattern you made for the mattress, cut out two ovals and serge around the edges.

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and voila! the perfect little nest for your wee one. of course, you can also use this same method for non-baby related items, like large baskets, small bowls, coasters, trivets and more!

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diy wax resist dip dyed onesies

September 23, 2013

diy wax resist dip dyed onesies (8)

in addition to the dip dyed wall hangings i did a while back, i also dip dyed several onesies using the same wax resist technique! rather than spending loads of money on cute little outfits for bear, i decided to just grab a few plain white organic cotton onesies and decorate them myself (like i did with these stenciled onesies). i love how they turned out!

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diy wax resist dip dyed onesies


– plain white onesies (i used gerber’s organics)
– soy wax (or beeswax)
– a paintbrush
– printed templates (download here)
– a hot plate (or way to heat the wax and keep it hot)
– dye (i used cushing’s perfect dyes, but you could use any type, like rit)
– salt
– paper towels
– iron

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step 1: melt your wax. i used soy wax (it’s eco friendly and super easy to clean up after!). i also used a tin container and hot plate, however feel free to get creative. keep it on the stove, or even possibly dip right out of a burning candle (?). just be careful not to burn yourself! the most important thing is to make sure the wax stays hot enough (but below it’s flash point) to soak into the fabric itself. it won’t work if it just lays on top of the fabric (you’ll be able to tell the difference).

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step 2: insert the printed template of choice inside the onesie (behind the first layer of fabric).

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step 3: beging ‘painting’ on your design using the wax and paint brush, tracing over the design. this is the fun part!

step 4: once the wax is dry to the touch, submerge your fabric into cool water to soak it (will make the dye more even). then, dye your fabric according according to package instructions (this probably calls for adding salt to the water). here’s where you can get creative! dip dye, totally submerge, or leave parts in longer than other areas to give it more of an ombre look. important: the most important thing i learned is that you need to dye your fabric in cool-warm water. if the water is too hot, it’ll melt the wax and ruin all your hard work!

step 5: let your hanging completely air dry.

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step 6: to remove the wax: place a paper towel on both the top and bottom of your fabric where the wax is. iron on top of the paper towels until all the wax has heated and lifted from the fabric (the paper towels will absorb it).

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be careful, this can be addicting! and of course, it’s not limited to just onesies. think pillows, tea towels, t-shirts and more!

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