DIY: Smudge Sticks

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense
Smudge sticks are small bundles of herbs that are bound tightly with string and dried. They are later burned and traditionally used as part of a ceremony or ritual. I like to burn sage whenever I’m cleaning my home or meditating to help cleanse my space and chase away any negative energies that might be lingering.

I’ve been waiting for my sage plant to grow large enough to harvest and I was finally able to make my first smudge sticks. White sage is most commonly used (this is what you can typically buy already made into smudge sticks). My garden sage isn’t white, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I also harvested a few sprigs of rosemary and some rose petals.

Other herbs you can use are: lavender, cedar, mugwort, lemon balm, mint, or catnip. Feel free to try any other herbs you have in your garden! Just be careful as some herbs, can cause a bad reaction when burned. I’d recommend burning your smudge stick outdoors when you are first trying it out so that you can test the smell.

Supplies Needed:

• Herbs
• String
• Scissors

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

The first step is to gather your herbs. Take a bunch of sage, a sprig of rosemary and some rose petals and bunch them together. The more herbs you use in your bundle, the better as larger/thicker smudge sticks tend to burn easier. Carefully stack your herbs on top of each other until they form a bundle. You can pinch the bundle a little with your fingers to help them stay in place.

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense
DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

Take your string and make a slip knot and secure it around the end of the herb bundle, making sure it’s pulled tight.

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

Wrap the string tightly around the herbs. Once you reach the end, continue to bind it back down again, making a criss-cross pattern with the string. Once you return to where you started, you can tie a knot and trim your strings.

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

Let dry completely and then try it out!

DIY Smudge Stick #herbs #nature #incense

DIY: Watercolored Business Cards

Watercolored Business Cards
Last week I combined a few of my favorite things and letterpress printed A-i-M cards on scraps of cotton paper. I wanted to make them super special (and representative of our creative spirit) so I pulled out my handy-dandy liquid watercolors and went to town.  I tried a few different methods, and wanted to show how they turned out.

I really like working with Blick Liquid Watercolor. I use it for my paper flowers, and pretty much everything else. I can water it down as much or as little as I want, and it washes out of everything I accidentally spill it on. (Very important. I’m a little messy.) I keep several plastic containers around to mix colors in.

The paper scraps were Crane Lettra 110# Cover, and I used a rubber based letterpress ink on them.

I think this would also work on other papers, including watercolor paper and uncoated card stock. You could also try adding your print with a stamp (like this tutorial from Akula Kreative) or use a non-watersoluble printing method (like a laser printer, or copier.)


Dipped and Dry Brushed

My first instinct was to take each card individually and dip it into a few colors. Some of them I then tapped on the table, to distribute drops, and some I used a dry brush to sweep through watercolor puddles.

IMG_2475-2 IMG_2490

Edge Painting

I discovered a really wonderful thing while I was dipping small stacks in the watercolor. The color would soak into the edges, but not into the face of the pieces in the middle of the stack. I started dipping each side of the stack into a different color, and ended up with these lovely ombre edges. There is a little bleed onto the face of the cards, but it’s very subtle.


A Happy Splatter Accident

Remember what I said earlier about being a messy experimenter? Well, this time it worked out for me! I was partially working on a glass palate, which eventually was covered with lots of little drop of watercolor. I pressed one of the cards against the splatters, and ended up with these lovely color patterns.

IMG_2506IMG_2569I had a great time playing with the liquid watercolor (again) and love how easy it is to introduce color and pattern on a simple card.

The splatter was definitely my favorite. What do you think?


DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags
Do you collect little treasures throughout your day? I’m always on the lookout for a pretty rock or shell; a tiny acorn, flower or anything that catches my eye. My shelves are lined with treasures and trinkets I’ve collected over the years. There are times when I like to hold a few treasures together after say a special walk on the beach, or a magical day spent in nature. Sometimes I’ll carry a small drawstring bag in my pocket to keep the things I collect safe.

After looking over all the things I’ve collected, I thought it might be fun to put together a small bag of treasures for ‘good luck’. It would make for a wonderful and thoughtful gift to someone special. Decorate a muslin gift bag with a stamp or RIT dye and you have the perfect gift or favor.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #dye #gift


• Muslin drawstring bags (any size you like)
• RIT liquid dye
• Salt (if needed)
• Paper towels
• Small disposable plastic cups
• Plastic gloves
• Bake sheet and dry rack

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags

The first step is to fill your cups with 1/2 cup hot water (one for each color of dye you want). Then add in 2 tablespoons of dye and *2 tablespoons salt to the water. *Be sure to read the instructions on the bottle. Not all colors require salt.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #tutorial #dye #gift

Prepare a surface with paper towels or newspaper. Place a cooling rack on top of a bake sheet lined with paper towels. Carefully dip a muslin bag into the dye, holding it in the dye for 3-4 minutes. Once you get your desired shade of color, carefully place the bag onto the rack to dry. Repeat this process with all the bags you plan to make. Allow to dry completely.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

Treasures to find and collect:

• Rocks, stones or gems
• Feathers
• Shells
• Flowers
• Buttons
• Acorns
• Coins
• Beads or charms

Always keep your eye out for treasures! Whether you are taking a walk through your neighborhood, hiking through the forest, relaxing on the beach or digging through a thrift store- look for things that attract YOU. It could be a shape, color or texture that you feel drawn to. Listen to your intuition and you’ll find some truly amazing treasures!

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

DIY: Dip-Dyed Treasure Bags #craft #gift #dye

DIY: Plastic Free Card Wraps

Instead of using plastic sleeves for my cards, I like to hold the card and envelope together with a strip of recyclable paper. I also use this as a chance to price my cards, and provide a little story to go along with each design. (Stories can make your products- more on that in the Packaging Post).

Since I’ve been using the photo corners to package my prints, I decided to move over to a similar method to pack my cards. I played around with folding until I came up with a method that needs no tape or plastic, but still looks pretty nifty!

First I print out my card descriptions, and cut them into strips with a rotary cutter. Each strip is about 2.5″ tall and 11″ wide.

For smaller cards (up to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) I use a decorative blade or punch on one edge of the strip.

A Then I turn everything over, and center the envelope diagonally on the paper strip. B Once it’s centered, I fold the non-decorative corners in, using the envelope as a guide. C Then I fold the flap back across. The scalloped edge will now be on top…  D so that I can slip the corner of the card into the little pouch I made with the folds. Then I slip the other corner in. The card itself keeps the wrap secured.

I use a similar method to cover larger cards (up to 5″ x 7″), with a couple of changes. Since I have to use more of the length of the strip, it takes a little adjustment to make sure that I have a pretty corner to tuck into. I still center the envelope on the strip (diagonally) but then…

I fold the two opposite corners first. (Notice that the first fold doesn’t quite cover the whole corner of the envelope.) G Then I fold the second, longer, side over to make the same type of pocket for a card. Then slide in the card a corner at a time.

Voila. A plastic free wrap, and a story too!

You might not need to use exactly this method for all the things you get up to- but I hope my experiment encourages you to think outside of the box with your projects. Just a couple of little clever changes could make the world a better place.

(I’m thinking big.)



DIY: Tiny Marker Stamps

I was invited to join the local gallery at an Art Outside event this summer, and put together a mini-version of my paper flower class for kiddos who were attending. I brought a bunch of pre-dyed flower petals so that they could form a little flower on a bobby-pin, to use anywhere.

I thought it would be fun to let them hide some bugs in their buds, so I carved a few mini-stamps of beetles, spiders, and bees to stamp amongst the petals. In order to make the tiny stamps easier to use, I came up with a way of sticking them in the end of Crayola Broad Line Markers. I thought I’d share!

First I cut out a circle to fit the end of the marker by coloring the cap of the marker with a Sharpie
then immediately stamped it onto a piece of Speedy Carve Rubber Stamp Block.

I cut the tiny circle out with a craft knife and then

drew a tiny spider to carve out.

Then I pushed and shoved and slowly worked the pieces of rubber into the end of the marker. It’s good to have a tight fit so it won’t work itself out as you use it.

I used Speedball Linoleum Cutter to carve the extra pieces out of the rubber. Because the stamp is so small, it’s important to work slowly on small sections. Actually, the marker makes it a lot easier to carve, and kept my other hand away from the sharp tools.

I tested the stamp repeatedly, by using the marker it was attached to to color the stamp. I ran the marker over the design, stamped, and used that information to remove more of the rubber. The more stamps I made, the simpler they got. It is really difficult to keep a lot of detail on such a small surface.

Finally I had a sweet little bug stamp to add to the flowers. Bwahahaha.

I have all sorts of stamps I want to make using this method. Some of them might even be un-creepy!

If you’d like to try this project yourself, check out the supplies at the Adventures in Making Amazon Store . If you buy through our store you’ll pay the usual Amazon price, but we’ll get a small percentage to help us power our creative adventures. You’re great!

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer
This project has been on my list for a while now and I’m so excited to finally make these tiki torches from Lucky Buddha beer bottles. They just look awesome! And they’re the perfect backyard lighting and decoration for summertime.

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

Supplies Needed:

• Lucky Buddha beer (6-pack)
• Tiki torch fuel
• Tiki torch replacement wicks
• 1/2″ x 3/8″ copper coupling
• Sealing tape

Step One: Drink beer!

Enjoy a refreshing Lucky Buddha beer with friends! Make sure to save the bottles. Wash and let dry.

Step Two: Prepare the copper coupling

I found both the copper couplings and sealing tape at Home Depot. The first step is to wrap sealing tape around the smaller end of the copper coupling. You want to wrap enough tape around the copper that it will seal around the bottle opening. Insert the tape-wrapped copper coupling snuggly into the bottle opening.

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

Step Three: Fill with tiki fuel

Using a plastic funnel, fill each bottle with tiki fuel. Then insert the wick. Let wick soak up the fuel for a few minutes before lighting.

DIY: Lucky Buddha Tiki Torches #decor #outdoor #summer

DIY: Hand-Dyed Paper Flowers

Paper Flowers
We’re not happy unless we’re making things- which means we have a whole slew of projects from the time before A-i-M. We thought we take time now-and-again to share some of these projects from the DIY vault. We’ve touched them up a little, so they should still be new to you, even if you’ve been following us forever.

A couple of years ago, after taking the Crafting for Kittens class (where the lovely Laurie taught us to make crepe paper flowers), I decided I wanted to put together my own paper flower project using easy-to-find materials, and  a little inspiration from tie-dyeing tissue. Since then I’ve been teaching them as a class at the store, and I thought I would share them with those of you who aren’t close enough to join us for a class or party.

flowers_3They are made with a bunch of inexpensive supplies- I’ve linked to some of my favorites below*
• A package of white coffee filters
• Scissors
• Liquid Water Colors – I now use Blick Liquid Watercolor
• A few bowls to dip into (they won’t get ruined, no worries.)
Floral Wire like this.
• Wire cutters
• Floral Tape – Floratape is the best.

Take a few coffee filters (1-6) and fold them in half over and over again, till you have a triangle.

flowers_5Then trim the outside part of the triangle in curves, points, or anything you’d like. (The fun is in the ‘sperimenting.)

Pour the liquid watercolors into small dishes. Add water if you would like (not too much though, if you want rich colors.)

Dip one end into one color and let it slowly wick up the dye, then flip the folded filter and repeat in another color. I would recommend doing the lighter color first. You can also squeeze extra moisture out gently.

Unfold the stack or leave the pieces folded up, and allow to dry overnight. Make sure to leave airspace between your petal sets- they will transfer color if you aren’t careful.

After dried, and opened, it should look something like this. Play with the number of filters you use- this one has 6, but I have even done a tiny single filter flower.

flowers_8Measure out a double length of floral wire, folded at the end.

I have done some of these with button centers, and some without. If you are using a button, feed the wire through two of the holes, and leave the button at the doubled end.

Piece by piece, feed the filters onto the wires and bunch them up at the end.

After all your pieces are wired and bunched, start wrapping floral tape at the top. I usually do a couple of runs of tape directly under the petals, pushing them up as I go, then continue to wrap the stem all the way down. (Remember to stretch the tape to activate the adhesive.) Often you’ll find you need to tighten up the petals by adding more tape near the top.

It may take a little trial and error to make a perfect bouquet, but even the work is fun!

If you’re local and want a hands-on class that includes all the supplies you need, make sure to swing by the So, There store in Issaquah.

I’d love to meet ya!

*If you’d like to try this project yourself, check out the supplies at the Adventures in Making Amazon Store . If you buy through our store you’ll pay the usual Amazon price, but we’ll get a small percentage to help us power our creative adventures. You’re great!

DIY: Flower Flip Flops

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

With summer here I’m busy working in my garden, escaping to the beach for a mini-vacation, and coming up with fun summer craft ideas. I stopped into my local Dollar Tree the other day and picked up a bunch of pairs of flip flops knowing they would become great summer gifts. I decided to paint them with nail polish and attach a handmade fabric flower for a fancy fun summer shoe!

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Supplies Needed:

• Flip flops
• Cotton fabric
• Felt
• Hot glue gun & glue sticks
• Fabric scissors
• Nail Polish
• Needle & thread

Step 1: Make fabric flowers

The first step in making fabric flowers is to cut a 1 3/4″ circle from a piece of felt. The circle does not need to be perfect (I drew one with a pen and then cut it out) and any color felt will do as it won’t be visible when the flower is finished. Use the felt circle as a template to cut approx. 20 circles from cotton fabric.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Using a hot glue gun, place a dot of glue at the center of each fabric circle and fold in half. Place another dot of hot glue at the center of the folded circle and fold in half another time. Repeat this process for all the fabric circles.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Next begin gluing the folded circles to the piece of felt starting in the middle and working your way around until the felt is full and flower-like. Make two fabric flowers per pair of flip flops.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Step 2: Attach flower to flip flop

You can tack the flower in place with a dot of hot glue, but I recommend using a needle and thread to stitch it to the flip flop. You can feed a string through the flower (using a needle and thread) and tie it securely to the flip flop.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft

Step 3: Paint with nail polish

Using coordinating colors decorate the straps of your flip flops with nail polish. (I originally tried glitter glue, but it fell right off once it dried). Paint over your design with a clear polish to finish.

DIY: Flower Flip Flops #summer #shoes #craft
DIY: Flower Flip Flops

DIY: Make your own PhotoCorners + Printables


Did you know you can make your own photo corners?

I got tired of using boring photo corners in my albums, and to secure my prints, so I came up with a way to make my own custom corners. I usually use a coordinating paper (sometimes decorated) to complement the photo or print. (For instance, I use the Square Flap Method in kraft paper to secure my prints to their backer board in the store. This keeps them safe, without having to use plastic sleeves on everything.)

There are a couple of different ways I make the corners depending on the print of the paper, and how I will be using them. I’ve included a little printable sheet with instructions (one to save and one to share). Click below to print your own.


If you’re feeling adventurous, try both methods in a variety of sizes. Sometimes really big corners are a blast, and sometimes tiny ones are the way to go. Once you’re done with that…

Print your own captioned photo corners!


I had so much fun putting together the box template last week, that I thought I’d make some printable corners for you to customize with your own captions. The template pages can be edited in Adobe Reader(available for free here) and have instructions for assembly. (Using the Square Flap Method.)

All you’ll need to put them together is a pair of scissors and glue (or double-stick tape).

Each template includes one illustrated and three patterned corners. Feel free to use as many as you like. (I find two work well for smaller photos, while larger photos stay in better with four.)

Click on the thumbnails below to open and save a template.  Then, simply open them in Adobe Reader (available for free here), click on the type to edit what each corner says, and print as many as you want!

temp3 temp2 temp1

Well, I’m off to make a bunch of corners for my new set of prints. What are you up to today?