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"Summer Social" Guest Project — Make Friendship Bracelet Kits {with free printable}

17 Aug
Jennifer, Jamie and Jodie here from the blog eighteen25!!
We are so happy Jen invited us to participate in her Summer Social event.
We have a fun project to share with you today and it would also make a really cute gift for all the girlies in your life.

friendship bracelet kits

back in june, we took a trip to the craft store to pick up the stuff for friendship bracelet kits and since then, the girls have spent several hours making colorful knotted bracelets for everyone they know. 

to make a kit to keep or give as a gift, you’ll need:

  • a DMC craft organizer (ours came with plastic floss bobbins)
  • a pack or two of embroidery floss
  • a small clipboard (6×9)
  • large elastic (to wrap around the box)
  • tag download

we covered our clipboard with some patterned paper and the friendship bracelet kit tag.

and in case you were wondering what the clipboards were for…
they hold your thread while your knotting.

so whether you have a little time left before school starts or you’ve already sent the kids back…

 get your kids hooked on making these and they can give friendship bracelets to all their new school friends!!
 {if you’re new to making friendship bracelets… this website will help get you started.}

Thanks girls — what a fun idea!! 
If you don’t know the girls at eighteen25, head over there ASAP. 
Their site is full of deliciousness, like: 
Back to School Party — and printable.
And speaking of printables, eighteen25 has tons of amazing printables. Like this Birthday Subway Art.
 And great craft ideas like this Birthday Box.
And they love Halloween as much as I do!! Stay tuned for their Halloween Spooktacular Series — full of fabulous spooky ideas. I’m so excited to participate again this year!! 
Be sure to hop over to eighteen25 and see all of the awesome ideas!! 

"Summer Social" Guest Project — Back to School Teacher Gift {printable}

11 Aug
What an honor to be a part of Jen’s Summer Social! Jen and I have been blogging friends for a long time (in bloggy years) and have just recently been able to get to know each other better as we work on the SNAP! Conference team. I can tell you that Jen is just who you think she is from reading her blog, and yes, she really is that nice! I’m pretty sure you could look a long while and never meet a nicer person.
My name is Kendra and I keep a blog called My Insanity. It is where I share all of my crazy/creative ideas. 
And the insanity abounds, but I do like simple projects, too, like this one for a sweet start to the new school year.
Last week my kids went back to school! If yours aren’t already there, undoubtedly they will be shortly. Have you met the teachers yet?
Here is a simple and sweet idea for something to take to the teacher on the 1st day of school or a Back to School night, that will leave an impression, without going overboard.

When my kids went to meet their teachers they handed them each an apple with special teacher sticker.
The teachers looked a bit surprised, but genuinely pleased by the gift. Turns out, most teachers aren’t actually given apples as gifts in real life. But I want to change that! What better to give them? Practical, portable {edible}, and now personal! (This idea was inspired by these clever valentines we gave last year, thanks to these great printable stickers from Twig & Thistle.)
I designed the apple sticker graphic and then printed out a sheet of stickers on label paper (I used Avery 5408 round 3/4″ labels). I tried to create a printable sheet of stickers for you to download here today, but couldn’t figure out how to keep the formatting just right (any advice for me about making printables on label templates?).

So if you’d like stickers for apples for your teachers, click on the apple graphic above, and right click and save it to your computer. You can download templates from Avery for the kind of labels you are using. Then fill in the circles with this graphic. This specific template is meant for use in Microsoft Word. If you don’t want to mess with templates, just get full-sized sheets of sticker paper and place the graphics all over. You might be able to punch them with a sharp circle punch, or just cut them out with scissors.

 Hope this helps you start off the new school year on the right foot with your child’s teacher!
Thanks Jen, for having me!
Thanks Kendra — what a cute First Day of School gift idea!!
  Kendra is so creative — I love her ideas!! 
I love this Bandana Tablecloth!!
Kendra also throws FAB parties:
Check out these Nail Polish invitations Kendra made for her daughter’s Spa Day Birthday Party!
And I’m loving this Rainbow Cake she made for her son’s 1st birthday party

Kendra can do it all– Craft, Bake and Throw a Great Party!!
Pop over and see the fabulous ideas at Me & My Insanity!!
Have a fabulous day!!
PS — It’s almost time to head back to school. Are you thinking about getting organized? I’m sharing my favorite beautiful and organized Pantry Makeovers today over at Babble’s Home Ec blog 🙂

"Summer Social" Guest Project — Make {FREE} Scalloped Paint Chip Art!

9 Aug

Hello! I am so excited to be posting at Tatertots and Jello! I’m Chris from 

Jen is one of those bloggers whose workload just boggles my mind. I want to bottle up some of her energy! Alas, I have no idea how to do that—yet. Until then, I’ll remain in awe of Jen and all the wonderful things she does at her blog!
For those of you who don’t know me, you should know that I don’t like to spend money. That doesn’t mean I don’t spend money. I just don’t like to. So…when I was looking for some artwork for my bedroom, I decided to look for something free.

I grabbed some paint swatches at Home Depot (props to HD for offering free swatches!) and used a hole punch to make a bunch of circles.

Punch, punch, and then punch some more. It only took a few minutes, but my frame was pretty small. If you want something large scale, (get it? scale?) it may take you a minute.

Because I’m cheap (didn’t want to buy anything to put it on) and because I’m lazy (didn’t want to find something to cut to size, I adhered the circles straight to the glass that came in the frame. Plus, this allowed me to use the lines of my cutting mat to make sure everything stayed straight. 

I had to look on the internet to make sure I knew what fish scales look like, and I just started gluing away. A little dab of craft glue at the top of each circle is all it took. Using the craft glue (as opposed to hot glue) gave me some time to move things around if they weren’t lining up well.


This is what it will look like when you’re done.

I let the glue dry for a little bit, and I turned the glass over. 

Then I ran a blade down the edge of the glass to give a clean line. This way it would fit nicely into the frame.

Ta Da! I am so happy with the simplicity of it. It’s a fresh and free way to decorate, and I love that it offers some texture to the space.

When my husband was checking it out, I said, “Did you notice that I used a frame that has circles on it to match the circle design in the art?” He responded, “Circles?” Nice.
I’m not too worried, though. I’m sure you notice it. 🙂 

Thanks to Jen and all her readers for letting me stop by today! I hope you enjoyed it!

Chris!! That is just awesome – I love the circles and the scallops that they make.
First of all, I just want to say how THRILLED I am to have Chris here. Just a Girl is one of the first blogs that I ever started reading. I remember the day that Chris featured me – it was one of the happiest in my blogging life. Here are some of the reasons I love Chris’s blog—

How genius is Chris’s Art Tray? Love this!!

Her Halloween Mantel last year was fabulous!!
Another amazing Halloween project — her DIY Spider Clock.
And of course there’s the amazing decorating ideas — like this Dining Room Transformation with Board and Batten.
You will love the daily DIY inspiration at Just A Girl — be sure to go over and say hi!!
PS — I am sharing some of my favorite Washi Tape projects over at Babble’s Home Ec today. I am loving all of the creative ideas that are being shared over there. Such a great community!!

"Summer Social" Guest Post — Make a Ruffled Laptop Bag Refashion!

5 Aug
Hi Tatertots and Jello readers! My name is Ellie G. And I am the president of the Tatertots & Jello fan club. {tee hee} Really, I just love Jen and this blog. I’m so honored to be here.

I blog at Less Cake {more frosting}. I get asked a lot if it’s a food blog. And it’s not. It’s about all the things I love…so definitely food is included, but not exclusive. I also love things like: making stuff, Mod Podge, Diet Coke, graphic design, and frosting.


My husband and I are going on a trip for our 12th anniversary. (can I get a “WHOOT” for making it to twelve?) In the preparations, I decided that it would be nice to take the laptop with us so we can talk to our kids on Skype. But I don’t really want to carry it, because I am without a cute laptop bag.

So, of course, I mentioned that I ought to buy a new laptop bag, for the trip.

And I was greeted with, “but we have a laptop bag downstairs.”



THIS THING?? Seriously? This is what I have to carry? It’s a super sturdy bag, and has lots of pockets that I love. But seriously? My husband is in advertising, and I just yearn for having something that isn’t a promotional item! But, alas, my idea for a new bag was shot down. And I am stuck with this little beauty.

But never fear! I remembered what I did last Spring with my new camera bag and I decided I’d try my hand at making this bag less REI and more “Ellie G”.


I started with some elastic lace. I actually have a whole bolt of this stuff from a FABULOUS trim and notions store in Phoenix. (that I was introduced to by Miss Whippycake herself!) So I have a lot of it on hand. I love it! It’s super vintage-ee and looks like it’s already been loved a couple times.

I sewed it on to the front flap of the bag in rows. Because of the elastic, it was pretty essential to pin before sewing. Plus it maintains nice straight rows.

When working with stretchy materials, you really have to compensate for the stretch. In this instance I DIDN’T want to use the elastic properties, so I tried not to stretch. But some stretching is inevitable. So don’t do any exact trimming until after you’ve sewn each strip. You can cut the excess and get a perfect finish!

Manipulating a big heavy bag to go into my sewing machine was tricky, at times. But I really didn’t want to disassemble it. This is supposed to be a pretty quick project! There were a few rows I just couldn’t work out. So I just hand-stitched the last couple.


Then I used a loop of vinyl to make a cute bow. Just a rectangle, with a strip wrapped around the center to pinch. Easy peasy!

The key to working with thick materials is a really long sharp needle, and upholstery thread. They are essential!


I definitely will feel much more confident carrying this yummy, ruffled bag with me on the plane. I know, I know…..I shouldn’t care that much. But I do. So sue me!

You can do this too. Even though you don’t have this exact bag! Look at the bags you might want to get rid of, or look at thrift store bags with a fresh eye. You might be able to transform them into something fabulous!!

Oh my goodness Lara– that is adorable!!!
I love it.
Ellie G. is one of my favorite blogging friends IRL too. We started talking through comments and I mentioned that a new Hobby Lobby had opened up near my house. It turns out that it was across the street from Ellie’s house. So we went to lunch and became fast friends!!!
Ellie is one of the most creative people I have ever met. 
I love her projects — they are a mix of modern and colorful. 
Plus, Lara makes amazing printables!
Like this calendar for August
 {Like this Calendar for August}
And how awesome is this Teacher Printable? Perfect for the first week of school!

PS — I’m in San Diego. Have you ever been here? It’s GORGEOUS!! I have a big crush on this town. We had a great time at the Clever Girls Party last night. So fun!!! #BlogHer

"Summer Social" Guest Project — Simple Outdoor Decorating {bring your inside style…out}!!

3 Aug
Hi!  Shelley here, from The House of Smiths!
I’m SUPER excited to be guest posting over here on the good ol’ TT&;J blog! Jen and I are really close friends, and to say that she has kept me “sane” through this crazy roller coaster known as “the blog world” would be a complete understatement. We’re a perfect compliment as friends. Jen’s the calm, cool, collected girl…and I’m the wound up crazy (get you into just a liiiiittle bit of trouble) party chick………believe me, it works. ha!

Anywho, today I’m going to be sharing just a few tips and tricks about outdoor decorating on a budget! If you know me, then you KNOW I love decorating, but when it comes to the outside I get a little hesitant. Not because I don’t LOVE the way the outside of a beautifully manicured home looks, but because I live in a place (Utah) where we go through all 4 season and Winter seems to be the loooongest!
This makes it hard for me to justify weekend after weekend of time spent on flower beds and lots of money put into expensive decor. Believe ME, those things are still on my wishlist, but until then… here are a few sure-fire, budget friendly ways to “spruce up” the exterior of your home, by bringing inspiration from the indoors, out!
First things first:
Get Cleaning.
You honestly don’t realize HOW dusty and dirty your lighting fixtures, shutters, and doors are, until you start cleaning them. Once you have everything wiped down you can even go back with a fresh coat of spray paint if needed, to really freshen things up for just a few dollars.
I’ll be honest, we only do this about twice a year, but it definitely gives ANY house (new or old) a quick face lift.
Because nobody wants caked on dust and cracked, half-peeled-off-by-a-kid vinyl, greeting their guests.
Gussy up the yard.

A quick, simple, and inexpensive way to really liven up ANY yard is to add some contrasting color, and greenery. For us, this meant some cheap black bark, on sale flower boxes and decorative shrubs. We picked ours up at our local Walmart, and about $150 bucks later, we had a beautifully rich looking flower bed and some cute full planter boxes to boot! 
NOTE: before putting down ANY kind of bark, rock, or other flower bed covering, make sure that you line your planter bed with some sort of weed barrier. You will thank me later
My last tip is probably my most favorite:
Make your porch inviting for
visitors, using decor!
We don’t have a very large porch on our home, so I knew I couldn’t go crazy, but I still wanted to bring the elements of a “comfy” welcoming atmosphere into my small space. So we purchased a discounted floor model IKEA bench, some pillows from Home Goods, a second hand Target wreath from Salvation Army, and a $14.00 rug from Walmart into our porch area, to make for a more “homey” feel for our guests!
All of the decor was about $75.00.
So the grand total on our “Outdoor Spruce-Up” was about… $225.00 smack-a-roos!
Not bad!
If you’re looking to doll-up the outside of YOUR home but not break the bank while doing it, then start with these few tips and you’ll definitely be on your way to a more beautifully inviting home exterior, too!
Happy Summer!
Shelley!! Your house looks so good. 
I love how you make things look so expensive on a tight budget. 
Shelley is one of my best friends in real life. We have so much fun together! 
She is the queen of the one-armed photo shot (I don’t know how she does it)…
She has so much style!! 
{yes, her house is gorgeous IRL!!}
{We had a great time painting Chevron Rugs together}
{She has an adorable family}
{Check out her new Tutorial Page — you will be amazed at all of her awesome projects!!!}
If you don’t know House of Smiths — run over there and be inspired!!! 

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!!!
PS — We are in the car right now on our way to BlogHer. Shelley is driving and she’s made a playlist for your trip – ha!

"Summer Social" Guest Project — Make a DIY Magnet Board {perfect for back to school}!!

2 Aug

I hope you are having a wonderful summer! My name is Traci, and I blog at Beneath My Heart

I am so thrilled to be guest posting here at Tatertots and Jello today. Thank you, Jen, for having me. 🙂

I do not know about you, but I am amazed at how quickly the school year is approaching. My boys start school next week! Wow!

(Yes, I might have just jumped into the air and clicked my heels together in glee.)

Just kiddin’…

No, I’m not. 🙂

To help your kids (or you) stay organized this school year, I thought I would share with you a very easy DIY magnet board that I made for my boys 🙂



This magnet board is the perfect place to store notes, reminders, or special keepsakes. 

Here is how I made it (in less than an hour!) 

I purchased a 24×24 inch sheet of STEEL from Lowe’s for about $10.00. They have all different kinds of sizes, so you could make your magnet board smaller or larger if you wanted.

I also bought two 1x2s from Lowe’s. Get the cheapest 1x2s you can find. These were $1.97 a piece.

 For the embellishments, I bought three different types of “tacks.”

Bronze furniture nails, Nickel furniture nails, and large head galvanized roofing nails.


I decided to go with the bronze furniture nails (upholstery tacks) for this project.

I started by using a hack saw to cut a piece of wood 24 inches long…


Then I used a straight edge to mark where I wanted my tacks to go. (You can space them however far apart you would like. You could also use different color tacks or large head wood screws.)


The upholstery tacks where not strong enough to go through the steel without breaking, so I created a starter hole with a nail.


Again, you can space the tacks apart at any distance you prefer.


The picture below just shows you how the wood was placed on each side. I would flip it over and nail the tacks into one side at a time.

After you finish nailing all the tacks in, you are done! How easy is that?!

Now my magnet board was plain when I hung it in my boys’ room, but I was wondering what it would look like with some lettering on it.

So I uploaded my pictures into Picnik and added my boys’ names on the board to see what it would look like.

I loved it!!


So I am planning on creating vinyl cutouts of my boys’ names using my Silhouette machine. If I didn’t have a Silhouette, I would probably purchase some stencils and just paint their names on.


 magnet board


In the next picture, I added my son’s name in blue to see how that would look…

magnet board



Now you are probably thinking that this type of board would only look good in a boy’s room.

Oh no, my friends!

Look how cute the board looks in my office!!!….


I am needing a memo board for my office space, so I am thinking about purchasing a larger sheet of steel to go across my whole desk area. Wouldn’t that be great?! Maybe I will use the silver upholstery tacks to give it a little more “bling”. 🙂  

For fun, I added my monogram to the board through Picnik to see what it would look like…


Again…I love it! Who would think a piece of steel could look so feminine?

Here is the memo board with my favorite saying on it (added through the magic of Picnik, of course.)…  

So there you have it! A great little magnet board for your child (or you) to start the school year off right!

For less than 20 dollars….“holla!”

And if steel on your walls is just not your thing, check out the tutorial on my blog to make “Ballard Designs Inspired Magnet Board.

You can learn how to make these through a written tutorial, or a video tutorial, whichever you choose. 🙂

Thanks Traci!! 
What a great project.  
And what a great idea as we all start thinking about school starting again!! 
Traci is one of my favorite bloggers. Not only is she super talented, but she is also so warm and real. 
Here are a few of my favorite Traci projects: 
{I adore Traci’s Laundry Room – so pretty!}
{Traci’s Burlap Chair Makeover makes me happy}
And Traci’s Wednesdays With Wanda touch my heart each week. 
You will love getting to know Traci.
Head over to Beneath My Heart and say hello! 

"Summer Social" Guest Project — Make Pinwheel Placemats!!

26 Jul
Hello, everyone! 
My name is Amy, and my blogging home is Positively Splendid, a little creative haven where you’ll find everything from simple craft ideas to sewing projects, and just about everything in between. I would love for you to stop in for a visit!

I am so excited to be taking part in Jen’s Summer Social! Today I’m going to share a quick project with you to punch up your table decor during your next outdoor gathering.

These fun  pinwheel placemats are a terrific project to complete with fabric scraps you might have lying around!

All set to see how these are made? Let’s get started!
For this project, you will need…
Fusible web, such as Wonder UnderIronFabric scraps in various printsPaper and paper trimmerDisappearing ink markerClear rulerScissorsHot glue gun and glue sticksButtonsRibbon and/or rick-rackBamboo placemats (I found mine in the Dollar Spot at Target)
step 1 / Use your paper trimmer to make square templates of various sizes. I found that squares of 4″, 3″ and 2.5″ work well. Fuse contrasting pieces of your scrap fabric together, wrong sides facing, following the instructions for your fusible web. Use your disappearing ink marker to trace your square templates onto your fused fabric pieces, and cut your squares out. (You will need three squares of descending sizes for each placemat.) Using your ruler, draw lines diagonally through the center of your squares with your disappearing ink marker, as shown.

step 2 / Use your scissors to snip about 2/3 of length of the lines you just drew, as shown.
step 3 / Add a dab of hot glue to the center of each of your trimmed pieces. Fold every alternating corner of your snipped sections up to this center point, as shown, pressing them firmly into the hot glue to secure them.
step 4 / Add a button or other embellishment to the center of each pinwheel to conceal the glued corners. Cut strips of ribbon or rick-rack that are the width of your placemats and adhere these to the left side of your mat with hot glue. Hot glue three pinwheels of descending size, from largest to smallest, along this ribbon, as shown.
All finished!

Aren’t these little guys so festive and fun? 

Thanks, Jen, for having me over today! I hope y’all will stop by Positively Splendid sometime soon. You can also find me hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

That is absolutely adorable!!!
I want to make some RIGHT NOW!! 
Amy is one of my favorite blogging friends. We met for the first time at Blissdom and then we were able to hang out again at Creative Estates in April. 
{Here we are, along with another of my favorite people, Lara from Less Cake {More Frosting}.
There are so many reasons that I love reading Positively Splendid. One of the main reasons is Amy’s love of color!!
I love her Boy/Girl Room.
And her pillows are amazing. So so cute!
I could spotlight every single project that Amy has made on Positively Splendid, because I love them all so much and you will too!! 
Be sure to head over and give her a big TT&J hello!!

PS — We finished shooting Day 1 of the Get a Little Creative Show yesterday. Check out the fun set. Chevron!
{thanks Shelley @ House of Smiths for the great pic}